Two senior White House officials said it was President Trump who came up with the idea of the visit to St. John's church, but that Hope Hicks, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and chief of staff Mark Meadows were involved in the initial planning of the operation.
The decision to visit the church came early yesterday afternoon, roughly five hours before police and military forces swarmed Lafayette park to clear out the protesters. Officials in the press office were not looped into the plan until later in the afternoon, shortly before the operation.
One senior official said the initial plan was to establish a security perimeter around St. John's church and the White House neighborhood to protect the church. Then Trump, Hicks and the others hatched the plan for the church visit.
Both officials said there has not been much second guessing about the church visit among senior members of the team. They said they feel good they "restored law and order," the official said.
Another White House official confirmed to CNN the bible that Trump held up at St. John’s church Monday was carried over by Ivanka Trump in her white designer bag. The official said the President noticed Ivanka was carrying her purse and asked her to put it in there, and then she removed it and handed it to him at the church patio.