President Trump accused Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) of refusing to allow the city’s police department to help the Secret Service on Friday during a protest outside the White House, a claim that the mayor quickly refuted.
“Great job last night at the White House by the U.S. @SecretService. They were not only totally professional, but very cool,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “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.’”
Bowser pushed back on Trump’s remarks later Saturday morning in a series of tweets and during a press conference, saying D.C. police officers were “were doing their jobs from the start” and were assisting Secret Service “like we have done literally dozens of times in Lafayette Park.”
The Washington Post and CNN both reported that D.C. police were on hand on Friday night, along with other law enforcement agencies, as officers pushed back on protesters in Lafayette Park. The Secret Service later confirmed that D.C. police officers were on scene at the protest.
Trump’s tweet came the day after protesters demonstrated outside the White House in response to the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died this week while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Footage on social media showed several confrontations between demonstrators and Secret Service officers. Authorities eventually deployed pepper spray to disperse individuals gathered in Lafayette Park across from the White House.
Objects were seen being thrown at officers, who continually put up new metal barriers throughout the night to try to hold demonstrators at bay.
Bowser wrote in tweets responding to Trump that she would authorize police to protect all areas of the city.
“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,” she added.
News [email protected] THEHILL