Trump taken to underground bunker during White House protests: reports

Source: The Hill | May 31, 2020 | John Bowden

President Trump was moved to the White House’s underground bunker Friday evening as protesters clashed with police and Secret Service agents outside, according to multiple reports.

The New York Times on Sunday reported that the president was taken to the bunker as demonstrators pulled metal barricades away from the White House gates Friday evening. According to CNN, he remained there for about an hour before returning to his residence. It was not clear if first ladyMelania Trump and their son Barron accompanied him.

White House officials  did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while the Secret Service declined citing operational concerns. The president slammed Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) in a tweet Sunday morning following the protest, accusing her of not allowing D.C. police to assist Secret Service agents.

“On the bad side, the D.C. Mayor, @MurielBowser, who is always looking for money & help, wouldn’t let the D.C. Police get involved. ‘Not their job.’ Nice!” he wrote.

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A statement from the Secret Service, however, said that U.S. Park Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police were both at the scene Friday evening. The protests in D.C. were among numerous demonstrations that erupted across the nation over the weekend in response to the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis police custody. Video footage of Floyd’s arrest showed the man pleading for his life while an officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

Bowser reacted to Trump in a statement, declaring that she stood with protesters calling for justice in the wake of Floyd’s death and pledging that D.C. police would protect all city residents.

“My police department will always protect DC and all who are in it whether I agree with them (such as those exercising their First Amendment Right) or those I don’t (namely, @realdonaldtrump),” she tweeted. “While he hides behind his fence afraid/alone, I stand w/ people peacefully exercising their First Amendment Right after the murder of #GeorgeFloyd & hundreds of years of institutional racism.”

“I call upon our city and our nation to exercise great restraint even while this President continues to try to divide us. Our power is in peace, in our voices and ultimately at the ballot box in November,” Bowser added.

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