Donald Trump slammed “false” news that he had been taken down to an underground bunker on Friday night over Security Service’s fears for his safety as demonstrators moved close to the White House, protesting over the death of George Floyd. The president still confirmed that he was in a bunker, although for a “very, very short period of time” and for a different reason, according to his exclusive interview to Fox Radio host Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday.
“Well, it was a false report. I wasn't down - I went down during the day, and I was there for a tiny little short period of time, and it was much more for an inspection, there was no problem during the day”, the president told Kilmeade when asked to comment on the reports that he has been “brought downstairs” to White House bunker over unrest in the capital.
The US Commander-in-Chief then explained that he had done similar detours “two or three times” in the past and “all for inspection”.
“Someday you may need it, but you go there and I went down. I looked at it. It was during the day. It was not a problem, and I read about it like a big thing. There was never a problem. We never had a problem,” the president continued.
On Sunday, the New York Times reported that “Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks”, concerned for the president’s safety as protesters gathered outside the White House, throwing bottles and bricks. The information was reportedly confirmed to Fox News by a senior administration official and also shared by CNN on Monday. The president, however, slammed reports about the “safety” nature of his purported escape to the underground shelter as “fake news”.
“Nobody ever came close to giving us a problem. The Secret Service does an unbelievable job of maintaining control in the White House, and beyond the Secret Service we have a lot of other great people out there, including the DC Police and then, of course, on top of that after I saw the one evening, which was a little rough and it was certainly rough on Leland [Vittert, Fox News’ journalist], I think more so than anybody else. We brought in the - we brought in the troops,” Trump went on.
He noted that the Secret Service agents told him that “it would be a good time” to inspect the White House bunker because he might need it sometime.
“I was down for a very, very short period of time. Very, very short period of time. I can't tell you who went with me, but a whole group of people went with me. As an inspecting factor, I was back up. And Brian, it was during the day. It wasn't during the night,” Trump rushed to assure Kilmeade.
Peaceful protests across the United States over the death of black Minneapolis resident George Floyd on 25 May took a violent turn last week, as looters and rioters started terrorising various major cities across the United States. Several US governors called for the deployment of National Guard, including Minnesota head Tim Walz.