02:59 GMT14 July 2020
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    As the historic St. John's Episcopal Church just a stone's throw from the White House was vandalised during the George Floyd marches in the capital, President Donald Trump ordered to clear the area of the protesters, walking to the church to make a statement from there.

    Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have taken aim at the president following police being ordered to clear out an area near the White House so he could walk to a nearby church, St. John’s Church, which had been vandalised in the course of rallies.

    The comments have ended up in the crosshairs of many, with netizens rushing to post videos of rioting “thugs” as a justification for tougher control over the protests. “At a time when our country cries out for unification, this president is ripping it apart”, Pelosi and Schumer said in a late Monday statement, calling on the US president to “respect the dignity and rights of Americans”.

    The two lawmakers went on to remark that the “nation needs real leadership”, going on to rip POTUS: “This president’s continued fanning of the flames of discord, bigotry, and violence is cowardly, weak, and dangerous”.

    The Dems separately took on POTUS after he instructed police to “dominate” the streets as protests over George Floyd’s death have boiled over into mass riots involving across-the-board arson, vandalism, and ransacking.

    After President Trump and administration officials walked through the area cleared by the police to the church near the White House and briefly posed for pictures there, the two top Democrats fumed: “Teargassing peaceful protesters without provocation just so that the president could pose for photos outside a church dishonours every value that faith teaches us”.

    However, many appear not to deem Trump’s on-foot visit to the church as another “photo-op”: “I didn’t see a ‘photo-op’. I saw a president standing up for decency and faith after a mob set fire to a church, @CNN pretended it didn’t happen, and Democrats backed the ‘protesters’. They’re looting Manhattan tonight, governor”, journalist Joel B. Pollak wrote, with others echoing the stance:


    “The only thing they [Democrats] finally speak up about is Trump holding a Bible in front of a Church that almost burned down??”, another wondered, weighing in along the same lines, like many others:

    “Yeah...a church which is a historic landmark that the #Democrats SET ON FIRE & defaced last night which is an in-your-face attack on Christians”, one commented.
    “It was a historic day”, said a different netizen referring to Tump’s on-foot trip “across a DC street risking sniper fire ”, while another recalled Joe Biden’s visit to a church and him “talking about shooting criminals in the leg”.

    Some opted to post visual proof of what they say is resilience and self-restraint on the part of the police in handling the “peaceful” protests:

    Democrats, like actress-turned left-leaning activist Alyssa Milano, meanwhile continued to chew over the fact that Trump ordered the territory to be cleared “for a photo-op”, saying they are surprised to see the president “with the Bible”.

    Trump has meanwhile expressed dissatisfaction to some states’ lax response to the sweeping protests, which kicked off after 48-year-old black American George Floyd was suffocated to death while being arrested by a group of Minneapolis policemen. He even promised to deploy the military himself anywhere local officials fail to curb the sweeping social unrest and prevent it from spiraling out of control, irrespective of what critics of the fierce crackdown would say in response.

    Over the past week, thousands of National Guard troops have been called in to patrol major US cities in 15 states, with no less than 40 cities introducing curfews to better control the protests sparked by Floyd’s killing. The now former officer, at whose hands he died, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

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    curfew, military, Democrats, Donald Trump, protests
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