On Monday, Trump left the White House and went walked over to St. John’s Church for a photo-op. The stunt led to law enforcement using tear gas and rubber bullets to push away peaceful protestors.
As you can imagine, the stunt sparked outrage across the country.
According to the Daily Mail, “Longtime Donald Trump aide Hope Hicks has been identified as having helped hatch the plan to have the president walk across the street from the White House to pose in front of St. John’s church – staged event that police and National Guard forces facilitated by using tear gas and rubber bullets to clear away peaceful protesters,” with the report adding, “As a PR move it may have backfired, after global and national media broadcast images of sheild-bearing and mounted police using force to clear Lafayette Park, an area whose use as a forum for demonstrations and speech has long been protected.”
The New York Times backed up the report with the Times’ Katie Roberts writing, “That church, St. John’s — the so-called Church of the Presidents because every one since James Madison has attended — had been briefly set ablaze as the protests devolved on Sunday evening. After Mr. Trump’s aides spent much of Monday expressing outrage over the burning of a place of worship, Hope Hicks, a presidential adviser, eventually hatched a plan with others at the White House to have the president walk over to the building, according to an official familiar with the events.”
You can read both reports below: