The sounds of tear gas being deployed with flash bangs during President Donald Trump's "law and order, anti-riot speech" from the White House Rose Garden were police clearing out protesters for the president's post-speech walk to nearby St. John's Episcopal Church.
The use of "munitions" was rebuked by Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde of St. John's went on CNN to express her our "outrage" for asking federal police to clear the path to visit her church.
Mayor Bowser tweeted:
"I imposed a curfew at 7pm. A full 25 minutes before the curfew & w/o provocation, federal police used munitions on peaceful protestors in front of the White House, an act that will make the job of @DCPoliceDept officers more difficult. Shameful! DC residents — Go home. Be safe"
"[Trump] sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church guard – I am outraged," Budde told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
"I just want the world to know that we and the diocese of Washington, following Jesus and his way of love do not – we distance ourselves from the incendiary language of this president," she added, rejecting what she considered an "abuse of sacred symbols for the people of faith in this country."
"I just can't believe what my eyes have seen tonight. I had no idea. I was watching the news with everyone else. And, as you might imagine, I have been fielding out just phone calls and emails and texts of outrage from my people and from people across the country wondering what on Earth did we just witness."
Rev. Budde has been a frequent critic of President Trump.
Trump had ended his speech with an announcement of his visit to the church.
"Thank you very much, and now I'm going to pay my respects to a very, very special place," Trump said before taking a walk.
Trump has had a public spat with Mayor Bowser on Twitter, saying she was refusing to protect the city from vandals amid the riots. Now, Trump says he is bringing in the military – and vowed to do so in other cities across the country that refused to effectively protect its residents and property.
Trump promised a forceful response to violent protests across the country before leaving the White House to visit a church across the street that had been damaged by fires during the riots over the weekend.
Trump walked across Lafayette Square after police cleared away protesters using tear gas, concussion grenades, and horses.
"I am also taking swift and decisive action to protect our great Capitol, Washington, D.C.," Trump said in the speech. "What happened in this city last night was a total disgrace. As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and the wanton destruction of property.
"We are putting everybody on warning: Our seven o'clock curfew will be strictly enforced. Those who threatened innocent life and property will be arrested, detained, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I want the organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail. This includes Antifa and others who are leading instigators of this violence."
Information from Bloomberg was used in this report.
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