White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended President Donald Trump’s photo op holding a Bible in front of St John’s Church last week. She claimed that the president wanted to symbolize unity and faith in America by expressing, “a very powerful message that we will not be overcome by looting, by rioting, by burning” after the protests over George Floyd’s death. 

McEnany compared Trump to historical figures such as Winston Churchill and previous U.S. presidents. “And I would note that through 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,” she said. 

McEnany sited examples like Winston Churchill’s famous photographs inspecting bomb damage in London during World War II. “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,” the press secretary said.

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