Hillary Clinton: Trump Wielding ‘Horrifying’ Use of Power ‘Against Our Own Citizens’

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends the 45th edition of the annual "The European House Ambrosetti" forum on economy on September 7, 2019 at Villa D'Este in Cernobbio, near Como, northern Italy. - The annual event, which runs this year through September 6-8 and dubbed "Intelligence on the …
MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton expressed horror following President Trump’s firm stand against lawless rioters on Monday and his subsequent decision to walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was damaged during Sunday night’s riots.

“Tonight the President of the United States used the American military to shoot peaceful protestors with rubber bullets & tear gas them. For a photo op,” Clinton said of the reports of authorities clearing out protesters from the area around Lafayette Park prior to both the city’s 7 p.m. curfew and Trump’s walk to the historic place of worship.

“This is a horrifying use of presidential power against our own citizens, & has no place anywhere, let alone in America. Vote,” Clinton, who recently changed her Twitter profile picture to an image of herself donning a black mask with the word “VOTE” written on the front, added:

Several progressive personalities — from celebrities like Samuel L. Jackson to political commentators like Joy Reid — followed in their rage, blasting Trump for supposedly tear-gassing “peaceful protesters” for a “photo op,” likening him to a fascist and dictator.

However, the circumstances of the park’s clearing are not without debate and speculation. WTOP reporter Neal Augenstein, citing a source who was present, indicated the park was cleared because police were attacked — not for Trump’s walk, specifically.

“U.S. Park Police said that water bottles were thrown at their officers near Lafayette Park, shortly before the president visited nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church,” WTOP reported.

Additionally, U.S. Park Police claim they used smoke canisters — not tear gas, as widely reported. Augenstein noted “it’s possible another agency used tear gas, in addition to Park Police using smoke cannisters [sic], but my source was on the scene, got a dose of smoke, but didn’t feel the irritants of tear gas”:

Philip Wegmann, White House Correspondent for RealClearPolitics, also reported protesters were “warned 3 times over loud speaker by park service and police to clear the area.”

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