United States Attorney General William Barr has addressed the reports that President Donald Trump was escorted to a bunker underneath The White House on May 29. The decision came after an increasing number of protesters began convening outside the gates, one of several protests that have erupted across the country (and the globe) calling for an end to police brutality. Speaking to Fox News on Monday, Barr admitted to the decision.
"On Monday, we were reacting to three days of extremely violent demonstrations," Barr explained. "Right across from the White House, a lot of injuries to the police officers, arson. Things were so bad the Secret Service recommended that the president go down in the bunker. We can't have that in our country. So the decision was made. We had to move the perimeter one block, and that is what we are doing."
This account contradicts what Trump has previously stated about the bunker, which first involved him, denying the reports outright. Before long, the president admitting that he did go to the shelter, but claimed that "it was much more for an inspection" rather than an act of caution. Regardless, the move by the president was widely panned, which even got him branded as "bunker boy" by critics. Barr also addressed Trump's controversial photo-op outside St. John's Episcopal Church across the street from the White House, which was planned as a means for him to combat the substantial backlash.
While Barr defended the president's actions, he claimed that Trump didn't tell him ahead of time. "I found out later that afternoon that he might go outside the White House," Barr continued. "The decision to move out the perimeter was originally made Sunday night by the Park Police. The president of the United States should be able to walk one block out from the White House out to the church of presidents. He should be able to do that."
Barr added that he did go to the park ahead of time and claimed that he "personally saw projectiles thrown and two were thrown at me and the police officers there," as a possible defense over Trump ordering nearby peaceful protesters dispersed with tear gas. "My security detail made me move back because they said that projectiles had been landing in a certain area, rock things like rocks, bottles thrown at me."