Donald Trump deploys tear gas on peaceful protesters for photo op
He posed with a bible at a nearby church
Donald Trump deployed the use of tear gas and flash grenades outside of the White House on Monday, clearing a path for him to stand outside a nearby church holding a bible.
The move by the American president came after an address on the White House lawn in which he declared himself "an ally to peaceful protesters", as police violently attacked both protesters and media not far from where he stood.
On Monday evening, Trump announced a nationwide curfew and stated that he was ready to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 law and deploy the military to "overwhelm" protesters.
His speech was delivered against a backdrop of widespread violence from law enforcement and deep division among politicians. According to CNN, many top Republican senators have urged Trump to behave more compassionately towards protesters still reeling over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police last week.
The protests and riots in the US have been notable for the brutal and indiscriminate response of police on the seen, who have recorded on camera attacking civilians and media alike.
The response from the media in the country has been outspoken, with CNN anchor Don Lemon telling viewers that the United States is "teetering on the brink of dictatorship" with Trump's actions.