Attorney General Bill Barr absurdly claimed Thursday that his decision to forcefully disperse peaceful protesters near the White House on Monday had nothing to do with President Donald Trump’s subsequent walk to a nearby church for a photo op.
“Obviously, my interest was to carry out the law enforcement functions of the federal government and to protect federal facilities and federal personnel, and also to address the rioting that was interfering with the government’s function, and that was what we were doing,” Barr said during a news conference.
“I think the president is the head of the executive branch and the chief executive of the nation and should be able to walk outside the White House and walk across the street to the ‘church of presidents,'” he added. “I don’t necessarily view that as a political act. I think it was entirely appropriate for him to do.
“I did not know that he was going to do that until later in the day after our plans were well underway to move the perimeter,” Barr said. “So, there was no correlation between our tactical plan of moving the perimeter out by one block and the president’s going over to the church. The president asked members of his cabinet to go over there with him … and I think it was appropriate for us to go over with him.”