President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning was greeted by dozens of anti-police brutality protesters who gave him the middle finger as he made his way to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine for a photo-op.
Photos taken by ABC News White House correspondent Jon Karl show protesters holding signs with anti-Trump messages and flipping off the presidential motorcade during his short trip.
“These were the images Donald Trump could see out the window of the presidential limo as his motorcade went from the White House to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine,” Karl commented.
These were the images @realDonaldTrump could see out the window of the presidential limo as his motorcade went from the White House to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine pic.twitter.com/6llAucLHvH
— jonkarl (@jonkarl) June 2, 2020
One protester was seen holding a sign that described Trump as a “Bunker B*tch,” after the New York Times reported that he was rushed into the White House bunker on Friday as protests raged outside. Another appeared to hold a sign reading, “Racist President, Go Hide In Your Bunker.”
— Ellyay🌷🍃🌷🍃🌷 (@ellyay) June 2, 2020
Trump’s visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine prompted criticism from Catholics who demonstrated near the Catholic University of America, which is adjacent to the shrine, with some praying the rosary while holding signs reading, “Our Church is Not a Photo Op” and “Black Lives Matter.”
Trump and his wife, Melania, who is Catholic, stood for several minutes in front of a large statue of Saint John Paul II before entering the building.
Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who has led the Archdiocese of Washington for just over a year, condemned the visit in a statement released on Tuesday morning before Mr. Trump’s visit.
“I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree,” the nation’s highest-ranking African-American bishop said.
Archbishop Gregory pointed to John Paul Il’s defense of human rights to condemn “the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace,” alluding to Mr. Trump’s photo in front of Saint John’s Episcopal Church on Monday.
— DC Archdiocese (@WashArchdiocese) June 2, 2020