Trump accused of tear-gassing peaceful protesters 'for a photo-op' at nearby church

As Donald Trump told the nation he would protect peaceful protesters in a speech at the White House's Rose Garden on Monday, law enforcement officers less than 100 yards to the north unloaded tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash bangs to disperse peaceful protesters by Lafayette Square in Washington, DC, so the president could walk to St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo op.

The move by law enforcement to clear the president's safe passage to the famed church, executed before DC's citywide 7 p.m. Monday curfew, enraged Democratic lawmakers and other commentators.

"Donald Trump just tear-gassed peaceful protesters for a photo op," California Senator Kamala Harris tweeted.

"The point was the tear gas. Not the photo op. If you haven't figured that out, you haven't been paying attention for 3 years," Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy tweeted.

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