Trump criticized for use of force against protesters outside The White House

Attorney General Bill Barr now saying he didn’t give the order to disperse the crowd.
1:57 | 06/07/20

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Transcript for Trump criticized for use of force against protesters outside The White House
for this week's use of force on protesters outside the white house for that photo op in front of a church. Attorney general bill Barr now denying he gave the order to disperse the crowd. ABC's Rachel Scott is in Washington. Reporter: Tonight, the top law enforcement officer in the William Barr, distancing himself from this moment. Police forcibly removing demonstrators Monday to clear a path for president trump to walk to St John's church, damaged by arson, for a photo op that sparked outrage. We were there as the crowd went running. Officers setting off flash bangs, firecrackers and smoke. What are they doing? Reporter: The ag was there too. And the trump administration says he gave the order to increase the secure perimeter around the white house. He noticed that it hadn't been cleared, gave the order for it to be cleared, and that action took place. Reporter: But now Barr says it was not his call to use aggressive measures. "I'm not involved in giving tactical commands like that," he told the associated press. Adding, his attitude was, "Get it done," but he didn't say, "'go do it.'" that show of force prompting former members of the president's inner circle to publicly blast his leadership. Now his second chief of staff speaking out. I think we need to look harder at who we elect. I think we should look at people that are running for office and put them through the filter. What is their character like? What are their ethics? Are they willing, if they're elected, to represent all of their constituents, not just the base? Reporter: Tom, president trump had no public events on his schedule today and as thousands protest, his critics say he's sending mixed messages. Yesterday, the president called it a great day for George Floyd. Hours later, he retweeted a post saying that Floyd should not be held up as a martyr. Tom? Rachel Scott for us tonight, thank you for that.

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

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