‘Ashamed & Disgusted’ Trump Staffer Leaks Photo-Op Info To Media

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Fox News and some of Trump’s evangelical base may have cheered his awkward photo-op on Monday, in which he stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church and held a Bible upside down and backwards, but at least one senior aide told Axios that they were “ashamed” and “disgusted” by the display.

The disgust doesn’t come from the photo-op itself, which was little more than Trump’s typical posturing, like when he wraps himself around a flagpole displaying the American flag on every stage he can find. The disgust comes from what it took to accomplish that photo op, which meant violently clearing peaceful protesters, well before any looting or rioting started,” so that Trump could leave his bunker and go pose.

According to Axios:

‘A number of people reached out directly to the president or his top aides to tell them, with great urgency, that he needed to be seen. They saw signs on Twitter that the conservative base was turning against him, with the question: “Where is Trump?”’

Members of the Metro Police Department and Washington, D.C. cleared the protesters by blasting them with tear gas and rubber bullets. Just moments before, Trump had given a speech in the Rose Garden, saying that he was “a great ally to the peaceful protesters.” It didn’t seem like that was the case while soldiers and police used violence against those peaceful protesters at Trump’s order.

‘Trump and his entourage walked across Lafayette Park to St. John’s Church, “the Church of the Presidents,” where rioters had set a fire in the basement the night before. It was supposed to be a show of strength. But it was widely criticized after peaceful demonstrators were violently ejected to make way for Trump’s photo op.’

One senior White House official who spoke to Axios anonymously said that the display “disgusted” them, but the fact is that whomever the aide is has not quit their job in protest. They wouldn’t allow their name to be used along with the quote. They didn’t go out  and march with the protesters in solidarity. So what does this “disgust” mean to anyone?

‘But a senior White House official told Axios that when they saw the tear gas clearing the crowd for Trump to walk to the church with his entourage: “I’ve never been more ashamed. I’m really honestly disgusted. I’m sick to my stomach. And they’re all celebrating it. They’re very very proud of themselves.”‘

The priest at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Rev.. Mariann Budde, did allow his name to be used in association with his comments, which included telling Axios that Trump’s display with the Bible was “deeply offensive” to him, particularly in connection to the violence it took to achieve that photo-op, violence that goes well outside the core teachings of Christianity.

‘”I was not informed,” the Rev. Mariann Budde told Brian Wiliams on MSNBC. “We were given no warning … He was preceded by a violent clearing of nonviolent protesters to make his way. And he was using our church as a backdrop, and the Bible as a prop, in ways that I found to be deeply offensive.”‘

Featured image screenshot via YouTube