When President Donald Trump took a picture at a church near the White House to show support for a church that was burned in violent BLM protests, the liberal media and Democrat politicians falsely claimed Trump ordered police to aggressively clear out protestors so he could take a picture holding a Bible in front of the church.
A new investigation has proven that claim false and clears the former president.
The media offered little coverage on historic St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C. being set on fire and vandalized by violent protester. But it excoriated Trump with fake “outrage” over him visiting the church the next day.
“As tear gas is used to clear demonstrators for a presidential photo-op in front of a fire-damaged church,” co-host Hoda Kotb decried at the top of NBC’s Today show the next day.
The report was like many others that falsely accused the Trump White House of using tear gas or violence and aggressive tactics to remove protestors from the area. Those reports wree labeled as false then and today they have been confirmed to be false once more.
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The Interior Department’s inspector general did not determine whether law enforcement acted inappropriately against demonstrators last year and did not focus on individual incidents of police use of force, but found that poor communication between agencies and ineffective dispersal warnings “may have contributed to confusion during the operation and the use of tactics that appeared inconsistent” with initial plans.
The review ultimately found park police had been planning to clear the area for days to install anti-scale fencing and that the decisions on the ground were not changed because of the president or White House’s plans.
“We did not find evidence that a potential presidential visit to the park or the St John’s Church influenced the park police’s decision making, or their deployment, you know, in their operation to clear out the park. So that’s the big, the big finding of our report is, is the is the clear evidence of why they decided to do so and when they made the decision, and on the flip side, the lack of evidence related to the President’s potential visit influencing that decision,” he said on ABC News Live.
President Trump responded to the investigation by saying it “exonerated” him.
“Thank you to the Department of the Interior Inspector General for Completely and Totally exonerating me in the clearing of Lafayette Park!” he said.
“As we have said all along, and it was backed up in today’s highly detailed and professionally written report, our fine Park Police made the decision to clear the park to allow a contractor to safely install antiscale fencing to protect from Antifa rioters, radical BLM protestors, and other violent demonstrators who are causing chaos and death to our cities. In this instance, they tried burning down the church the day before the clearing. Fortunately, we were there to stop the fire from spreading beyond the basement – and it was our great honor and privilege to do so. Again, thank you to the Inspector General!” Trump’s statement said.
At the time, the Park Police dispute the media’s version of events, denying that they used tear gas and claiming that they were unaware of the President’s plan to exit the White House and walk across Lafayette Square to St. John’s.
If the media wanted to criticize the timing and optics of Trump visiting a church, they should at least be as outraged by rioters who set that church on fire a day earlier.