17:19 GMT25 February 2021
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    Riots Sweep US After Black Man Dies During Police Arrest (129)

    On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump walked from the White House to the damaged St. John's Church following violence by anti-police-brutality protesters over George Floyd's death. The visit was widely criticized after Trump allegedly ordered protesters dispersed from nearby Lafayette Square with tear gas and rubber bullets.

    The current White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, compared US President Donald Trump's walk from the White House to St. John's Church earlier in the week with the iconic visit of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to German military and political sites damaged in World War II bombing. McEnany likened the Trump's widely-criticized photo-op to the "ceremonial first pitch after 9/11" made by then-US President George W. Bush, arraying the three moves as "leadership moments and very powerful symbols".

    “For this president, it was powerful and important to send a message that the rioters, the looters the anarchists, they will not prevail, that burning churches are not what America is about,” McEnany said. 

    Netizens laced the comparison, noting that Trump had reportedly ordered the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against a crowd of peaceful protesters on nearby Lafayette Square to make way for his staged photo-op. Trump denied the accusations, but has nonetheless been widely accused of making the visit only for the photo-op

    ​Twitter users refuted the historical accuracy of the comparison, pointing out that there is a "huge difference" between the moves.

    ​Some, however, have spotted a similarity between Trump and Churchill.

    ​Users also slammed Trump for his "Bible stunt", noting that he held the Bible both upside down and backwards during the photo-op. The widely-criticized staged 'stunt' was also lambasted by Mariann Budde, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, who said to The Washington Post that she was "outraged" by the president's gambit and did not want "President Trump speaking for St. John’s".

    Riots Sweep US After Black Man Dies During Police Arrest (129)


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    George Floyd killing, George Floyd, photo op, protest, Donald Trump, US
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