The Trump White House – and the Trump campaign – are desperately claiming rubber bullets and tear gas were not used to clear what by all accounts were peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park and St. John’s Church on Monday. The attack on the protestors took place just before President Donald Trump walked over for his now-infamous Bible-holding photo-op.
“No tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Wednesday afternoon in the latest round of falsehoods from the administration.
When pressed by CNN’s Jim Acosta, McEnany, as she often does, repeated the exact same line: “No tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used.”
Acosta detailed several personal accounts of people who were victims of the tear gas and rubber bullets, including an Episcopal priest.
“Chemical agents were used,” Acosta pressed.
“No one was tear gassed, let me make that clear,” McEnany replied. “It’s been confirmed by DoD and by Park Services.”
Reporter: If the White House had to do it all over again, would you have gassed and pummeled protesters to clear the park so the president could have a photo op?
McEnany: “No tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used” pic.twitter.com/EoeR1131L8
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) June 3, 2020
Earlier Wednesday Secretary of Defense Mark Esper specified that the National Guard did not use tear gas.
Clearly some federal law enforcement agency did.
Here’s video of the tear gassing from Yahoo News’ White House Correspondent Hunter Walker:
Here is the unedited clip from my livestream showing the moments protesters were tear gassed and cleared from Lafayette Park ahead of Trump’s visit to St. John’s Church. I am posting this because people are trying to say it did not happen. https://t.co/vlqMyICsjZ
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) June 2, 2020
MSNBC’s Garret Haake was on the scene Monday when protestors were attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets. He denies that any violence was taking place against any law enforcement officers.
“I want to be super clear about what did and didn’t happen. Nothing happened on the side that the protestors were in,” Haake said, Monday, noting that he had been there since 2 PM. “It was by far the most peaceful day of protests that we’ve had in D.C. since this started.”
He went on to say that “mounted federal police” came by before the curfew went into effect “clearing people out of the street. In front of them they were using flash bangs, tear gas, I lost my regular mask and had to replace it with my gas mask.”
“That’s what the tape shows, that’s what history’s going to show,” Haake, somewhat agitated, added. “I’m a little shook by the whole thing, to be completely honest.”
.@GarrettHaake describes law enforcement response to D.C. protest: “It was by far the most peaceful day of protest that we’ve had in D.C. … Before the curfew was into effect, we had mounted federal police … clearing people out of the street.” pic.twitter.com/HZ6y32C0Xu
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 2, 2020
Here’s an NBC News report from Tuesday on the use of tear gas, “so that President Trump could visit that historic site.”
“You could hear the flash-bangs from inside the White House as they were going off.” @kwelkernbc reports on police in D.C. firing tear gas and pepper spray at peaceful protesters just moments before President Trump walked across the area to take a photo at St. John’s Church. pic.twitter.com/4RPF9ObSYk
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 2, 2020
And yet, the U.S. Park Police are telling a very different – and very false – tale. But they admit to using “pepper balls” and “smoke canisters.”
“To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area. As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls. No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park. Subsequently, the fence was installed.”
As The Washington Post reports, pepper spray is “one of the most commonly used tear gases in the world.”
And the CDC agrees.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: ‘Riot control agents (sometimes referred to as ‘tear gas’) are chemical compounds that temporarily make people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs, and skin.'”
The Post also notes the Trump re-election campaign is contacting media outlets demanding they correct the record, to say tear gas was not used. Media Matters published their response.
Tear gas was used.
So were rubber bullets.
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Trump Now Insists He’s ‘Always Known This Is a Pandemic’ – After Calling Coronavirus a ‘Hoax’
In one of his his most recent lies President Donald Trump now says he’s always known and felt the coronavirus crisis is a pandemic.
In Tuesday’s coronavirus press conference Trump was asked about his new tone this week. The President appears, at least during these press events, to acknowledge the pandemic is a crisis. But he has spent months denying its severity, and dismissing it as a “hoax.”
“I have seen that, where people actually liked it,” he said Tuesday of his lies about coronavirus. “But I didn’t feel different. I’ve always known this is a real – this is a pandemic.”
“I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic,” he lied.
Trump, who not a month ago characterized Democratic criticism of the coronavirus response as a “hoax,” now claims, “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” pic.twitter.com/6GTpZ59b75
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 17, 2020
Countless news reports make clear that’s a lie.
The New York Times has documented in one article what Trump has been saying about the coronavirus.
His first recorded remarks were on January 22.
“Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?” a reporter asked Turmp.
“No. Not at all,” the president replied. “And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
There’s more. Like this:
On Jan. 24, he tweeted, “It will all work out well.” On Jan. 28, he retweeted a headline from One America News, an outlet with a history of spreading false conspiracy theories: “Johnson & Johnson to create coronavirus vaccine.” On Jan. 30, during a speech in Michigan, he said: “We have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully.”
Back in February at a campaign rally Trump called the coronavirus the Democrats “new hoax.”
Trump denies he’s been sending mixed messages on the coronavirus and claims he’s been treating it as an urgent issue since the beginning.
But until a few days ago, Trump was telling his supporters this whole thing was a hoax.pic.twitter.com/cmkgVs7V2U
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) March 14, 2020
From the beginning he has spent months minimizing the crisis – including not pushing and trying to minimize the number of tests in an effort to improve his re-election chances.
Trump Massively Lies About the Number of People in the US With Coronavirus: ‘We’re Really Down to Probably About 10’
President Donald Trump on Tuesday spent about 45 minutes lying about a wide variety of topics during a press conference in India. Among the topics he chose to not tell the truth about were the stock market, Ebola, Russia’s interference in the 2020 election, and the coronavirus, as The American Independent noted.
But it’s Trump’s lie about the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. of COVID-19, better known as the Wuhan Coronavirus, or just coronavirus, that is making many even more concerned about the lack of awareness and preparation by Trump and his administration to battle what the World Health Organization says is a virus with “unlimited potential.”
Trump bragged that what he has done to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. is unprecedented, which is false. Just hours ago several U.S. Senators, after attending a classified briefing on the cornoavirus, warned just how poorly prepared the Trump administration is to handle it, especially if and when it becomes a pandemic.
The CDC just warned that the spread of the coronavirus inside the U.S. is inevitable.
“We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad,” a top CDC official said.
But Trump is lying about U.S. preparedness and about the number of Americans infected, which is dangerous.
“We’re really down to probably about 10,” Trump told reporters.
Trump on coronavirus: “We’re really down to probably about 10 [cases].” (More than two dozen Americans had the illness as of yesterday.) pic.twitter.com/pZHkrG9FlT
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 25, 2020
As of Monday, the World Health Organization reports there are 53 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. There are also nearly 80,000 confirmed cases worldwide. The U.S. could quickly face a dramatic rise if the Trump administration does not act immediately.
UPDATE: 12:58 PM ET –
“I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away … We’re fortunate so far and we think it’s going to remain that way.” — Trump 5 hours ago https://t.co/AT9ip14gzK
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 25, 2020
Senior Trump Officials Undercut President’s Claim Four Embassies Faced ‘Imminent Threats’: Report
After President Donald Trump went on Fox News and claimed that he ordered the killing on Iranian military leader Qassem Suleimani because he was plotting attacks on at least four embassies, members of his own administration who had seen the intelligence stated they have no idea what he was talking about.
During the Fox News interview, host Laura Ingraham asked, “Did [Suleimani] have large-scale attacks planned for other embassies? And if those were planned, why can’t we reveal that to the American people? Wouldn’t that help your case?”
According to the president, “I can reveal that I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies.”
However, according to the Post, senior officials in the Trump White House disputed the president’s claims.
“A senior administration official and a senior defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified information, said they were only aware of vague intelligence about a plot against the embassy in Baghdad and that the information did not suggest a fully formed plot,” the Post reports. “Neither official said there were threats against multiple embassies”
The report goes on to note, “The senior defense official did not directly contradict Trump but said there was concern that there might be an attempt to place a bomb at the Baghdad embassy, a heavily fortified structure in a secure area of the Iraqi capital,” before adding, “The senior administration official said that Trump has been fixated on not allowing an attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility, out of fear of being compared unfavorably to his predecessor.”
“The embassy in Baghdad did not receive an alert commensurate to the threat Trump described, said a person familiar with the situation, who was not authorized to comment publicly,” the report continues, pointing out, “When the U.S. government has specific information about threats to embassies, warnings or alerts are often sent to embassy personnel to be vigilant.”
You can read more here.
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