Senior DoD Official Distances Esper, Milley From Trump’s Church Photo-Op, Report Claims

On Monday, US President Donald Trump was seen walking from the White House across Lafayette Park, where protesters had just been dispersed with tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades. The president was then spotted in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, damaged in a fire on Sunday night, posing for a prearranged photo opportunity.

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley were not aware they would be accompanying US President Donald Trump in his widely-criticized photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, set on fire Sunday night, a senior Pentagon official told reporters on Tuesday, according to The Hill.

The unnamed Pentagon official said that Esper and Milley, who joined Trump for his walk from the White House to the church after police forces dispersed protesters in the area, had earlier arrived at the White House to inform the president about the readiness of the military to take part in addressing the ongoing nationwide protests.

On Monday, Trump said that he would deploy US military assets to states that have not invited the National Guard in sufficient numbers to “dominate” the streets, the president’s idea to deal with the ongoing protests across the country over the murder of African American George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer.

Trump, joined by a group of top officials with his administration, walked from the White House across Lafayette Park to St. John’s Episcopal Church,…

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