Trump faces criticism for photo op in front of church

Police used tear gas and flash grenades to disperse peaceful protesters near the White House. ABC News' Andrea Fujii reports.
3:44 | 06/02/20

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Transcript for Trump faces criticism for photo op in front of church
Overnight new demonstrations just blocks from the White House. Hours after president trump threatened a military crackdown on what he calls the riots and lawlessness triggered by the death of George Floyd. Earlier Monday protesters facing off against authorities. Kneeling and raising their hands in a peaceful demonstration across from the White House then police using tear gas and flash grenades to disperse the crowd. The White House say this morning the protesters were given a three minute warning and the perimeter was expanded to enforce the 7 PM curfew. But ABC news cameras capturing the first flash grenade was at 638. 22 minutes before the curfew. In the Rose Garden minutes later the president threatened to use the country's military might to end the riots across the country. If states governors don't take action. I am your president. Of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters. As we speak. I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers. Military personnel. And law enforcement offices. To stop the rioting. Looting vandalism. Assaults. And the wanton destruction. Of property. To dispatch active duty military the president would have to invoke the insurrection act of 1807. A rarely used law that hasn't been enacted since the Rodney King riots in the ninety's. Senator Tim Scott the only African American Republican in the senate praising president trump for Bally did take immediate action we need to hear more alike. From the president because frankly there. Country rallies around our chief executive. When he speaks about bringing them. American fare on the together after the Rose Garden speech the president walking across the street to visit a historic church vandalized during the unrest. Then holding a Bible standing in various poses for a full minute and a half that I don't. In a joint statement overnight top Democrats blasting trump. Saying tear gassing peaceful protesters without provocation just sad that the president could pose for photos outside a church this honors every value that faith teaches us. The bishop of that church scene she's appalled accusing the president of using the church has a profit. Stop me be clear. The president just a five home. Look I could tack that the Judeo Christian tradition. And one of the church and my diet plan without. Permission. As a backdrop current Mac rich antithetical to the changing computer. And everything that our church's stance or keep sanctioned police hit your gas by police officers and light here to create the church art. I am outraged. The president also unloading in a conference call with governors of both parties urging them to quote dominate violent protesters and rioters. I. On the call Illinois governor Jay B Pritzker criticizing the president's rhetoric. Oh. Here rhetoric much either because I watched it with respect and the Aurora virus I don't like your rhetoric by Jada. Also won that conference call the president suggested people arrested in the protest should serve ten year prison sentences. Kenneth the Mona. Andrea thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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