The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, blasted President Donald Trump on Monday night after he had peaceful protesters teargassed so that he could use St. John’s Episcopal Church, one of her churches, to stage a photo-op.
“Let me be clear: The President just used a Bible and the sacred text of the Judeo-Christian and one of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything our churches stand for,” Budde told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
The bishop noted that Trump hadn’t even prayed during his visit.
“I just can’t believe what my eyes have seen tonight,” she said.
Budde also ripped Trump in an interview with the Washington Post, saying that “everything he has said and done is to inflame violence.”
“We need moral leadership, and he’s done everything to divide us,” she told the Post.
The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.
Trump visited the church shortly after giving a formal address at the White House in which he railed against the protests in major cities caused by the killing of George Floyd and demanded governors call in the National Guard to “dominate the streets.”
He spent little time talking about police brutality or Floyd, who died as a result of a white police officer’s extended neck restraint in Minneapolis, Minnesota last week.
Before the visit, the federal police deployed tear gas at the protesters, who had not been violent, near the the church to make way for Trump.