Trump makes surprise visit to damaged church after protesters cleared from park

National

Police begin to clear demonstrators gather as they protest the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is visiting the 200-year-old church near the White House that was set on fire as demonstrators clashed with police over the weekend.

Beginning with James Madison, every person who has held the office of president has attended a service at St. John’s Church.

Law enforcement cleared protesters out of the area with tear gas before Trump’s visit. Tear gas canisters could be heard exploding as Trump spoke in the Rose Garden. He then walked over to the church.

The protesters appeared to be acting peacefully before they were dispersed by force.

Trump is urging the nation’s governors to get tougher with violent protesters and to deploy the National Guard.

He said in the Rose Garden that he is ally of peaceful protesters, but he stressed that “I am your president of law and order.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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