Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde “just can’t believe” what her eyes “had seen” — and not in a good way — with President Donald Trump’s appearance at the D.C. church.
Prior to the president’s walk from the White House to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, police fired off tear gas to scatter protestors — which stirred up criticism for the “photo op” for the president.
At the church, Trump delivered brief remarks and held up a Bible.
The church, known as the “Church of the Presidents,” was damaged this week as protests continued to escalate over the death of George Floyd.
This was the scene outside of the White House on Monday as police used tear gas and flash grenades to clear out peaceful protesters so President Trump could visit the nearby St. John’s Church, where there was a parish house basement fire Sunday night https://t.co/nFrCqYpqZR pic.twitter.com/DVP11iiVIh— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 2, 2020
MOMENTS AGO: President Trump stands in front of St. John's Church holding a Bible.— The Hill (@thehill) June 1, 2020
Trump: "We have a great country. That's my thoughts. Greatest country in the world… It's coming back. It's coming back strong." pic.twitter.com/SeDH3pX7AV
However, during an interview with CNN on Monday, Budde expressed disapproval with Trump’s appearance outside the church on Monday evening.
“I am outraged,” Budde said.
“The president did not pray when he came to St John’s nor, as you just articulated, did he acknowledge the agony of our country right now — in particular, that of the people of color in our nation who wonder if anyone ever–anyone in public power will ever acknowledge their sacred worth and who are rightfully demanding an end to 400 years of systemic racism and white supremacy in our country. […] We distance ourselves from the incendiary language of this President.”
She also shared that she had “no idea” that Trump would be coming to the church. The bishop then slammed Trump as she said he was part of the “abuse of sacred symbols.”
Watch the video below:
“I feel that the soul of our nation is at stake right now and we need moral leadership,” Budde later said. “And we also need … moral leadership. We also need political leadership.”