Of Course Donald Trump Gassed Americans For A Photo-Op

Paul Blumenthal

Standing in front of the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church on H Street across from the White House, President Donald Trump held a Bible in his hand like one of his patented Trump Steaks. The church, which every president since James Madison has attended at least once, suffered minor damage after a fire was set amid protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. “It’s a Bible,” Trump said as he shifted the book into different positions for the photographers.

The cameras had followed him from the White House, where he’d delivered an address to the American public, promising to send the U.S. military into states that did not deploy “an overwhelming law enforcement presence” to end protests, whether governors asked for troops or not.

In order for Trump to be able to walk to the church ― and to provide a backing track for his menacing speech ― National Guardsmen opened fire with tear gas, flash-bang grenades and pepper pellets on a peaceful demonstration just outside the White House. Protesters were gathered in Lafayette Park to plead for the president and others to stop police brutality and anti-Black racism; instead, they wound up being pushed off the street by military police on horseback and driving back by tear gas well before the city’s 7 p.m. curfew.

All so Trump could get the perfect image to show he’s not hiding in a bunker as America is in crisis. 

Staging presentations for television is what the president does. Trump, who played upon his image as a successful businessman on a reality TV show before becoming president, does not see himself as anything but the lead actor in a drama about himself. He does not see the world as anything but a set. World leaders are supporting actors. The rest of us are extras. He gasses us and sets the military against us to color the background of his speeches. Our cries are just off-camera background. The same president boasted about TV ratings of his White House...

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