Bernie Sanders: Trump Had Protesters ‘Viciously Attacked’

Trump Holds Bible at St. John's Church
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Monday claimed that President Trump had D.C. protesters “viciously attacked” after they reportedly refused to clear the area outside of Lafayette Park.

“Trump just had peaceful demonstrators viciously attacked,” Sanders claimed. “No, Mr. President. This is not a dictatorship. This is the United States of America. Our citizens have a constitutional right to peacefully protest. It’s called the First Amendment”:

Philip Wegmann, White House Correspondent for RealClearPolitics, reported that protesters were “warned 3 times over loud speaker by park service and police to clear the area,” citing a source with “direct knowledge”:

Trump addressed the nation in a Rose Garden press conference Monday evening — the day after rioters wreaked havoc on the city, vandalizing memorials and setting structures ablaze. While he urged governors to take action, he vowed to intervene in the event that local leaders fail to quell the violence.

“If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” the president stated.

He concluded his address with an announcement of his immediate plans to “pay my respects to a very, very special place” — St. John’s Episcopal Church, the day after rioters targeted the beloved church.

Trump walked through Lafayette Park to visit the historic church, holding up a Bible upon his arrival:

“Here in the nation’s capital, the Lincoln Memorial and the World War Two Memorial have been vandalized,” Trump noted during his Rose Garden address. “One of our most historic churches was set ablaze.”

Sanders is in good company with his critiques, as several progressive leaders expressed outrage over President Trump’s bold speech and subsequent action:

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