Anderson Cooper, D.C bishop blast Trump for violently removing protesters for photo op

The bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Mariann Budde, called into Anderson Cooper 360 Monday night and railed against President Trump for staging a visit to St. John’s Church near the White House. As Trump prepared to speak in the Rose Garden, police in riot gear began violently removing protesters who were standing with their arms raised, and using tear gas, to disperse the crowd so that Trump could safely make it to the church where he posed with a Bible for a photo op.

Video Transcript

MARIANN BUDDE: He sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church guard. I am outraged.

- The bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Marianne Budde, called into Anderson Cooper 360 Monday night and railed against President Trump for staging a visit to St. John's Church near the White House. Police in riot gear violently cleared protesters and used tear gas on them, so Trump could get to the church, where he posed with a Bible for a photo op.

MARIANN BUDDE: The president just used a Bible, no sacred text of the judeo-Christian tradition and one of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our churches stand for.

- Before heading to the church, Trump threatened to deploy the military to dominate the streets, and Budde wanted to make it clear that her diocese does not back the president's message.

MARIANN BUDDE: We distance ourselves from the incendiary language of this president. We align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others through the sacred act of peaceful protest. And I just can't believe what my eyes have seen tonight.

- Anderson Cooper was trending Monday night for comments he made about the president before the bishop called after hearing that Trump did the photo op at the church, because he didn't like the negative press he got for sheltering in the White House bunker on Friday while protests raged outside.

ANDERSON COOPER: He's hiding in a bunker, and he is embarrassed that people know that. So what does he have to do? He has to sick police on peaceful protesters, so he can make a big show of being the little big man walking to a closed down church.

- Trump has criticized the response to protests in some areas, even claiming that the world is laughing at those responsible. But Cooper believes, it's Trump's actions that are both laughable and sad.

ANDERSON COOPER: He always talks about the world laughing, that the world are laughing at the governors right now. The only people that the world is laughing at is the President of the United States and this event. As I said, if it wasn't so dangerous and disgusting, it would be funny. Because it is so low rent and just sad.

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