Trump praises Secret Service, warns of ‘vicious dogs’ after White House protest

President Trump on Saturday praised the Secret Service after the White House went on lockdown the previous night due to protests over the death of George Floyd, with Secret Service and other law enforcement officers locked in an hours-long confrontation with demonstrators.

Trump in a series of tweets lauded the officers while saying that “nobody came close to breaching the fence.” He warned that if protesters had done so “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”

The president said the Secret Service officers “were not only totally professional, but very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe.”

“They let the ‘protesters’ scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them.”

The president also took a swipe at Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), saying she is “always looking for money & help” but asserting that she would not allow D.C. police officers to get involved in the altercation outside the White House, alleging she said it was a jurisdictional issue.

Trump later claimed that the protests were “professionally managed” and that they were “just there to cause trouble.”

“Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” he tweeted.

The Washington Post reported that Secret Service, U.S. Park Police and D.C. police officers all appeared to be on the scene as officers pushed protesters through Lafayette Park across from the White House. The Hill has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment.

Protesters were seen throwing water bottles and other objects toward a line of officers, who were continually erecting new metal barriers throughout the night to try to hold demonstrators at bay. A number of protesters were pepper sprayed during the demonstration.

Trump has long urged law enforcement officers to be rougher with protesters or those they’ve detained, saying during a speech to law enforcement officers in 2017 that they shouldn’t be “too nice.” 

“When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?” the president continued. “Like, don’t hit their head, and they’ve just killed somebody. Don’t hit their head? I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’” Trump said in the address on Long Island in New York.

Scores of people demonstrated outside the White House complex for hours on Friday night, with footage on social media showing numerous confrontations between demonstrators and Secret Service officers. Authorities eventually deployed pepper spray to disperse individuals gathered in Lafayette Park.

Protests have erupted across the country over the killing of George Floyd, who died while in police custody after a police officer knelt on his neck for an extended period. Floyd was seen pleading for help and saying he couldn’t breathe before he became unresponsive and eventually died.

The officer who pinned the man to the ground, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.

Updated at 10:42 a.m.

Tags Donald Trump Floyd protests George Floyd George Floyd protests Secret Service
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