Attorney General William Bar praised Donald Trump’s decision to take a photo in front of a church as people protested for civil rights outside the White House and claimed that there was “no correlation” between protestors being gassed out and Trump’s stunt.
It was reported earlier this week that Barr had ordered law enforcement to remove protestors from the premises shortly prior to Trump’s decision to walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church.
This led to protestors being tear-gassed and shot at with rubber bullets by U.S. Park Police and National Guard troops, but Barr claimed there was no connection.
“I am interested in carrying out the law enforcement functions of the federal government and to protect federal facilities and federal personnel and also to address the rioting that was interfering with the government’s function,” Barr said. “That was what we were doing.”
“I think the president is the head of the executive branch and the chief executive of the nation and should be able to walk outside the White House and walk across the street to the church of presidents,” Barr added. “I don’t necessarily view that as a political act, I think it was entirely appropriate for him to do.”
Later that evening, the White House released a campaign-style ad using footage from the president’s visit to the church, and Barr — who reportedly ordered the park cleared — argued that he was not aware of the planned visit.
“I did not know that he was going to do that until later in the day, after our plans were well underway to move the perimeter,” Barr said. “There was no correlation between our tactical plan of moving the perimeter out by one block and the president going over to the church. The president asked members of his Cabinet to go over there with him. I think it was appropriate for us to go over with him.”
Take a look at Barr’s claims in the video clip below: