Biden rebukes Trump's photo op in front of riot-damaged church

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Jun 02, 2020, 09.06 AM(IST)

File photo: Joe Biden. Photograph:( AFP )

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Trump spurred fresh outrage Monday after police used tear gas to clear protesters from outside the White House so he could pose for photographs at a nearby church damaged during civil unrest.

Former US Vice President Joe Biden decried the use of force by US President Donald Trump as an mere attempt "for a photo."

Trump spurred fresh outrage Monday after police used tear gas to clear protesters from outside the White House so he could pose for photographs at a nearby church damaged during civil unrest.

Trump
US President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he holds a Bible during a photo opportunity in front of St. John's Episcopal Church in the midst of ongoing protests over racial inequality in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, outside the White House in Washington, US, June 1, 2020|REUTERS

The move earned him a sharp rebuke from the city mayor, the Episcopal bishop, and leading Democrats.

Also read: Trump says he is mobilizing 'heavily armed' military to stop protests

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate in the November election, slammed Trump for "using the American military against the American people," after the president vowed to order an army crackdown on the sweeping civil unrest.

"He tear-gassed peaceful protesters and fired rubber bullets. For a photo," Biden tweeted late Monday. "For our children, for the very soul of our country, we must defeat him."

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Biden also announced he would speak Tuesday in Philadelphia "on the civil unrest facing communities across America."

Trump's visit to the historic St John's Church, across the street from the White House came after he delivered an address denouncing vandalism that has followed anti-racism protests that have gripped the country for a week. 

As he spoke, law enforcement, including military police, could be seen firing tear gas to clear peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park, outside the White House, so the president could walk over to the church.

"We have a great country," Trump declared just outside the Episcopal church, where he held up a Bible. He did not answer questions from reporters before leaving again. 

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