Bill Barr says Donald Trump WAS rushed to the bunker during protests
AG Bill Barr says Donald Trump WAS rushed to the bunker at height of protests outside the White House despite president claiming it was just ‘an inspection’
- The attorney general told Fox News things were ‘so bad’ that Secret Service recommended taking Trump to the bunker under the White House
- The president has said he was merely conducting an ‘inspection’
- Trump was denying press reports of his trip to the bunker amid street protests
- Barr also said he would not do anything differently when asked about the decision to clear protesters out of Lafayette Square
- ‘Things were so bad the Secret Service recommended that the president go down in the bunker’
Attorney General Bill Barr has confirmed that Secret Service recently rushed President Donald Trump to a security bunker beneath the White House as a protective measure – not for an ‘inspection’ as the president claimed.
Barr made the statement during an extended interview on Fox News, where he also said he would not do anything differently if given the chance to redo what happened when law enforcement used force to clear protesters out of Lafayette Square last Monday.
He used the extraordinary action to move the president as an argument to justify the clearing out of protesters a few days later.
‘Things were so bad the Secret Service recommended that the president go down in the bunker,’ Attorney General Bill Barr said of the protests near the White House more than a week ago
‘Based on what I know now, no,’ Barr said, asked if there is something he would do differently.
‘On [last] Monday, we were reacting to three days of extremely violent demonstrations.,’ Barr said. ‘Right across from the White House, a lot of injuries to the police officers, arson,’ he said, referencing a fire that broke out in the parish house of St. John’s church Sunday night a week ago.
‘Things were so bad the Secret Service recommended that the president go down in the bunker. We can’t have that in our country,’ he said. ‘So the decision was made. We had to move the perimeter one block and that is what we are doing,’ Barr said.
Police take security measures near White House during a protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white police officer in Washington, United States on June 1, 2020
Demonstrators start a fire as they protest the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington
U.S. Secret Service form a line outside the White House as protestors attempt to breach their barricade during a protest over the Minnesota arrest of George Floyd, who later died in police custody, in Washington, DC, USA, 30 May 2020
Protesters are seen as tear gas smoke rises up in the air in front of the White House, following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington DC, U.S., May 31, 2020 in this still image obtained from social media video
President Trump was said to be furious of images of himself in the bunker and his walk out of the White House Monday to visit St. John’s Church was a response to that
President Donald Trump said he went down to the White House bunker during the protests in Washington D.C. to inspect it and not out of safety concerns
President Trump walks in front of a graffiti filled wall on his way to visit St. John’s Episcopal Church
Barr toured the area Monday afternoon, not long before Trump was to speak at the White House
The Washington Post had reported Trump was rushed to the bunker on Friday May 29th amid clashes between protesters and police.
Barr said he didn’t have advance knowledge of Trump’s photo-op – though he defended the president’s right to do it.
‘He didn’t tell me. I found out later in that afternoon that he might go outside the White House,’ Barr said.
‘The decision to move out the perimeter was originally made Sunday night by the Park Police,’ said Barr, who was pictured in video shortly before police executed the action.
‘The president of the United States should be able to walk one block out from the White House out to the church of presidents. He should be able to do that,’ Barr said.
The protests were in response to the death of George Floyd while being arrested by Minneapolis police.
In Washington, police forces fired pepper balls and used mounted police to force protesters out of the area minutes before Trump’s visit.
‘I did go to the park before the actual operation to move out the perimeter, and I personally saw projectiles thrown and two were thrown at me and the police officers there,’ Barr said. ‘And my security detail made me move back because they said that projectiles had been landing in a certain area, rock things like rocks, bottles thrown at me.’
Days ago, Trump told Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade that he was merely conducting an ‘inspection’ of the bunker – not rushed down for safety as had been reported.
‘I go down, I’ve gone down two or three times – all for inspection – and you go there, some day you may need it,’ he said last week. ‘I went down. I looked at it. It was during the day, it was not a problem.’
He was pushing back on a The Washington Post report that the first family was rushed to the bunker constructed deep beneath the White House.
‘I was there for a tiny, short little period of time,’ he told Kilmeade. ‘A whole group of people went with me as an inspecting factor.’
‘They said it would be a good time to go down and take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it,’ Trump claimed. ‘I’ve been down – that’d be number two, so two and half sort of, because I’ve done different things, but two and a half.’
‘But I looked I was down for a very very short period of time, a very very short period of time, I can’t tell you who went with me but a whole group of people went with me,’ Trump added.
Barr told Fox he agreed with the decision to move out the security perimeter, which Democratic leaders are now calling to take down.
‘I agreed with the general of conception to move the parameters to fortify a sense of a stronger fencing and so forth,’ Barr said.
Trump was said to be furious of images of himself in the bunker and his walk out of the White House Monday to visit St. John’s Church was a response to that.
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