House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday cited religious text in response to President Donald Trump’s photo opportunity with a Bible outside of St. John’s Church in Washington, DC, which came after law enforcement forcibly cleared peaceful protesters away from the White House using tear gas and riot shields.
Holding a Bible at a Capitol Hill event, Pelosi turned to the book of Ecclesiastes and read about a time for healing. She said the President “has the responsibility to heal.”
She also read statements from previous presidents about police brutality.
“This is not a single incident. We know it is a pattern of behavior. We also know the history that takes us to this sad place,” she said of George Floyd’s death.
“We would hope that the President of the United States would follow the lead of so many presidents before him to be a healer-in-chief and not a fanner of the flame,” Pelosi added.
She said the administration’s treatment of the protesters was a “most unfortunate situation.”
“What is that?” she asked. “That has no place, and it’s time for us to do away with that. A time to heal. The book of Ecclesiastes.”
On Monday evening, Trump walked across Lafayette Park in front of the White House, to St. John’s Episcopal Church, a house of worship used by American presidents for more than a century that was partially burned in a Sunday evening protest. Peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were dispersed with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets ahead of the President’s visit to the church.
CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.