Democratic leaders have condemned the use of tear gas against protesters ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square.
“Tonight the President of the United States used the American military to shoot peaceful protesters with rubber bullets & tear gas them. For a photo op,” Hillary Clinton wrote on Twitter, referring to a police attack on a crowd of protesters outside Lafayette Square, near the White House.
“This is a horrifying use of presidential power against our own citizens, & has no place anywhere, let alone in America. Vote,” the former Secretary of State tweeted.
Trump’s likely rival in the upcoming election, Joe Biden said the President is using the American military against the American people.
“He tear-gassed peaceful protesters and fired rubber bullets. For a photo,” said the former Vice President. “For our children, for the very soul of our country, we must defeat him. But I mean it when I say this: we can only do it together.”
“The President of the United States tear-gassed peaceful protesters in order to clear the way for a useless photo-op outside the White House—just after vowing to activate the military against our own people,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Lives and our democracy are in danger.”
Trump, accompanied by his daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Attorney General Bill Barr, posed for a photo holding a Bible in front of the church.
Protesters reportedly set the church on fire during demonstrations Sunday night protesting the death of George Floyd in police custody.
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