President Trump addressed the American people on the continued protests and violence in the country at the Rose Garden, a part of the White House meant for Press Briefings.
Before departing, Trump announced he wasn’t done for the evening, and would be “going to pay my respects to a very very special place.”
Moments later, the White House press pool was quickly summoned for a surprise movement. And soon after, Trump strolled out of the White House gates — something he had never done before — and walked across the park that had just been cleared to accommodate his movements.
Trump walked slowly, followed by an entourage of his most senior aides, security and reporters. The faint residue of pepper spray hung in the air, stinging eyes and prompting coughing.
Sections of the park and surrounding sidewalks were strewn with garbage, including plastic water bottles and other debris. Some sections had been scrawled with graffiti.
Trump crossed H Street and walked toward St. John’s Episcopal Church, the landmark pale yellow building where every president, including Trump, has prayed. It had been damaged Sunday night in a protest fire.
Trump, standing alone in front of cameras, then raised a black-covered Bible for reporters to see.
“We have a great country,” Trump said. “Greatest country in the world.”