The press secretary said Trump posing in front of a church for three minutes was a 'leadership moment.'
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany compared Donald Trump's photo-op with a Bible to the actions of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II.
McEnany specifically compared Trump's three-minute appearance outside a church, after protesters were tear-gassed to clear the site for him, to Churchill inspecting sites of bomb damage during the London Blitz that killed tens of thousands of civilians.
She also compared Trump's brief performance with previous presidential actions, like George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch after 9/11.
McEnany praised the purported symbolism of Trump's photo-op, but just two days earlier, she said Trump did not need to take the symbolic action of making an Oval Office address to discuss the protests.
"A national Oval Office address is not going to stop Antifa," said McEnany. "What’s going to stop is action. And this president is committed to acting on this."
From the June 3 White House press briefing:
REPORTER: Kayleigh, why did the president feel it was important to go walk over there through the park and to the church?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY: It was extremely important. Look, the president wanted to send a very powerful message: That we will not be overcome by looting, by rioting, by burning. This is not what defines America. And going and standing by St. John's church was a very important moment.
And I would note that throughout all of time, we've seen presidents and leaders across the world who've had leadership moments and very powerful symbols that were important for a nation to see at any given time to show a message of resilience and determination like Churchill, we saw him inspecting the bombing damage.
It sent a powerful message of leadership to the British people. And George W. Bush throwing out the ceremonial first pitch after 9/11, and Jimmy Carter, putting on a sweater to encourage energy savings, and George H.W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act flanked by two disabled Americans.
And for this president, it was powerful and important to send a message that the rioters, the looters, the anarchists, they will not prevail. That burning churches are not what America's about, and that moment, holding the Bible up, is something that has been widely hailed by Franklin Graham and others, and it was a very important symbol for the American people to see that we will get through this through unity and through faith.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.