White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany compared Donald Trump’s controversial photo op outside a church, to world leaders’ responses to World War II and the 9/11 terror attacks.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has come under fire after she compared Donald Trump‘s controversial photo op to Winston Churchill visiting WWII bunkers. The president held a bible while standing in front of St. John’s Episcopal church across from the White House, which Kayleigh called “a very powerful moment” and a “leadership moment.” However, to facilitate the photo-op, police violently attacked peaceful protesters in DC with tear gas and flash-bang grenades in order for Trump to cross the street to the church.
Kayleigh compared the photo op to world leaders’ responses to World War ll and the 9/11 attacks, namely former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s visits to bunkers in the wake of WWll bombings. In a June 3 press briefing, she said that Trump’s symbolic act sent “a message of resilience and determination” to Americans.
“Churchill, we saw him inspecting the bombing damage — it sent a powerful message of leadership to the British people, and George W. Bush throwing out the first ceremonial pitch after 9/11,” she said. “For this president, it was powerful and important to send a message that the rioters, the looters, the anarchists — they will not prevail. That burning churches are not what America’s about.”
Twitter users were quick to slam the new press secretary, who has been in the job since April, over her controversial remarks. “Yeah, I don’t remember anything about Churchill teargassing Londoners,” one user wrote, while another replied with a tongue-in-cheek comment. “Yes, of course. Everyone remembers Churchill having English citizens teargassed so he could cross the street to inspect bombing damage. Every school boy knows the story.”
The photo op was prompted by the global outcry and protests sweeping the nation in the wake of George Floyd‘s tragic death. Amid the protests, a fire was set in the church’s basement on May 31, and as he was photographed holding the bible, he said, “We have a great country. That’s my thoughts. Greatest country in the world.”