Top Republicans in the Senate are behind President Donald Trump’s effort to quell the violence and looting in the nation’s capital, despite being asked by CNN about events that did not take place.
The left has claimed that Trump’s brief visit to the historic St. John’s church near the White House after it was torched by rioters was a photo op arranged after the U.S. Park Police cleared Lafayette Park by using tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters. The protests are part of nationwide reaction to the death of George Floyd, who died at the hands of Minneapolis Police on Memorial Day.
In the article on support for Trump, CNN repeated the false narrative even after numerous official accounts about what really happened at the park were widely circulated. CNN reported:
The stunning move prompted a visceral reaction among Democrats, who likened Trump’s actions to a dictator as they prepared legislation to condemn the use of force — including tear gas and rubber bullets — against Americans exercising their constitutional rights to protest.
In fact, a statement from park police said that despite 51 officers being injured over the weekend by protesters before the park was cleared ahead of the president’s visit, no tear gas was used to disperse the crowd. And no arrests were made.
CNN reported on the support from Senators:
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), a member of the GOP leadership team, said the protesters had to be cleared out “for security purposes” since Trump was “walking over to the church” and they were asked to clear “but refused to do so.”
“So obviously, it was a necessary security measure,” Cornyn told CNN. Cornyn rejected the notion that they were acting peacefully since they can’t “ignore what law enforcement officers are telling them to do for the security of the president or anybody else.”
Asked if the President should have gone to the church for a photo-op that led to tear gas and other measures to be used on the protesters, Cornyn criticized the media and others who are “never going to find any good or any positive development in anything. So you can characterize it the way you want, but obviously the President is free to go where he wants and to hold up a Bible if he wants,” calling it a “civil message.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the most senior Republican in the Senate, also defended Trump and his right to got where he wishes, especially if he feels it expresses leadership:
We expect leadership from our President and particularly in times like this. And I think that when there was destruction to a church or any other historical thing that America would put great confidence in that should not be destroyed, I think a president ought to bring attention to that terrorist activity, and go there and do … what he did last night.
CNN repeated the false narrative about tear gas a second time in its article.
“On Monday evening, peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were dispersed with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets ahead of Trump’s remarks and trip to the church,” CNN reported.
Many of the Republican senators were responding to questions about something that did not happen, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who said “we need to get a grip on order” when asked about the tear-gassed protesters ahead of Trump’s trip to the church.
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