MSNBC's Joe Scarborough disputed an investigative report authored by a Donald Trump appointee about the ex-president's infamous June 1, 2020, photo op at Lafayette Square.
Federal agents fired chemical irritants at peaceful protesters ahead of the visit, where Trump held up a Bible in front of a historic church, but the Interior Department's inspector general found the park was cleared so a contractor could install fencing.
But the "Morning Joe" host was skeptical that then-attorney general William Barr would have been involved in mundane decisions about park maintenance.
"He could be the director for scaffolding of Lafayette Park, I apologize to William Barr," Scarborough said. "I didn't know he could try to undermine Jeffersonian democracy, undercut 220 years of checks and balances, and be responsible for scaffolding in Lafayette Park. If that's the case, I apologize. But if not, then again, we look at the part where he comes out before Trump comes out, and he asks this question. 'Are these people still going to be here when POTUS comes out?'"
"The operations commander replies to Mr. Barr, 'Are you freaking kidding me?' He then hung his head and walked away, the report said, and soon after the new director of scaffolding for Lafayette Park came out and in no uncertain terms told them to clear the park before Donald Trump came out, the violent confrontation began."
"Children, take from that bedtime story or morning story, anything you want to take from it," he continued. "But actually, if you use your mind -- by the way, I apologize, that [Bible is] not upside down, that's backwards. He's [Trump] holding the bible backwards. As a certain Oklahoma senator said, I've been going to Sunday school for 50 years, and I've never seen anyone hold a Bible that way. But if it makes you feel better seizing on to a report that doesn't cover the entire event and completely ignoring what the director of scaffolding for Lafayette Park said, you go with that."
"But that's awfully thin gruel," Scarborough added, "if that's what you're relying on, awfully thin gruel. Good luck with that."
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