There were loud calls for President Trump to speak out on the riots that have riven dozens of American cities in the country for days, since George Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody.
On Monday he delivered.
Instead of tweeting or speaking through his White House spokeswoman about Floyd’s death and the riots as he had been doing, President Trump spoke with authority on the rule of law, as my PJ Media colleague Bryan Preston reported. From the Rose Garden, he said,
My first and highest duty is to defend our great country and the American people. I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our nation, and that is exactly what I will do.
All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd. For George and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain. But we cannot allow the righteous cries of peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob.
I will fight to protect you. I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters,” Trump said.
He wrapped up his short statement.
“And now I’m going to pay my respects to a very, very special place. Thanks.”
And then he walked off and led a group of government officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House. The White House press corps was not aware of the plan.
— Black Irish (@Mint_mulatto) June 2, 2020
Let there be no doubt who was leading the walk to the torched wreckage of St. John’s Church.
— Katsy (@NJWomen4Trump) June 1, 2020
The church had been torched Sunday night by antifa and other far-Left rioters under cover of “peaceful protests.”
When the president arrived, the church’s windows were boarded up and things looked remarkably clean.
President Trump apparently grabbed a pew Bible to make a point of who was in charge and to say there was nothing vicious, destructive rioters could do about it. A phalanx of security followed Trump.
A lot of people resonated with that message.
This is everything!
— Kotcha The Great (@CrazyAboutTrump) June 1, 2020
But the Bishop of Washington, D.C., Mariann Edgar Budde, was apoplectic that President Trump would come to pay respects at her church. She deplored the fact that he didn’t pray in her church but was angered that he was there in the first place. It’s unclear how she knew what was in the president’s head and whether he was praying. If he had prayed, rest assured she would have deplored that too.
The president posed for a photo with one of the pew Bibles available for everyone who visits the church to use. Budde asked “how dare” the president of the United State use one of the Bibles he found. Her voice trembled with anger as she spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Bishop of Washington, DC: “@realDonaldTrump just used a Bible … and one of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything our churches stand for….I am outraged.
See the video.
.@iamepiscopalian Bishop of Washington, DC: “@realDonaldTrump just used a Bible … and one of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything our churches stand for….I am outraged." pic.twitter.com/8MGOvdR6jp
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) June 2, 2020
These are the words of a “Christian” leader. Since when is holding a Bible “antithetical to the teachings of Jesus”? Perhaps it was too showy – sort of like her anger toward Trump, which seemed, ah, misplaced, considering the circumstances.
To pile on to the president’s gesture of unity, a CNN reporter faulted the president and his staff for failing to wear masks while checking out a church fire-bombed by terrorists.
No masks or social distancing, FWIW
No masks or social distancing, FWIW pic.twitter.com/i0rHfKWalz
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) June 1, 2020
FWIW, Brian, it’s not worth much. Where’s the tweet about the arsonists not observing social distancing while setting this iconic church on fire?
Watch President Trump’s trip to St. Johns. It was a lovely gesture to people of faith and show of force to those who are sick of the devastation by these thugs.
We have the greatest country in the world—and we will keep America safe. pic.twitter.com/lqHaUZ4wxW
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 1, 2020