Police backed by National Guard troops tear-gassed a largely peaceful protest outside the White House.
US President Donald Trump delivered an address this week in which he threatened military action as protests against racism and police brutality spread across the country.
Then he walked to the nearby St John’s Episcopal Church to pose with a Bible.
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Standing outside the church, which had been damaged and boarded up after days of demonstrations against police brutality, Trump struck different poses, displaying the book for cameras, ostensibly upside-down at times.
“Is that your Bible?” a reporter asked. “It’s a Bible,” Trump replied.
The president said nothing else about the significance of the site or the circumstances of his appearance before walking back towards the White House.
Outside the White House, police supported by National Guard troops fired tear gas on a largely peaceful protest to clear the area for Trump’s photo op.
“If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said.
National Guard troops have been deployed in several US states.
In a call with state governors, Trump told them they had to “dominate” and said the state of Minnesota, where George Floyd, an African American man died in police custody, had become the laughing stock of the world.
This report was produced and edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s Hassan Ghani.