Rev. Al Sharpton on Thursday criticized President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE over his recent photo-op outside a D.C. church, accusing the president of using the Bible as a prop.
Sharpton, who was delivering a eulogy for George Floyd in Minnesota, did not name Trump but appeared to refer to photos of the president outside St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday evening when he held a Bible in one hand amid nearby protests over Floyd’s death.
“I saw somebody standing in front of a church the other day that had been boarded up as a result of violence, held the Bible in his hand. I've been preaching since I was a little boy; I never seen anyone hold a Bible like that. But I’ll leave that alone,” Sharpton said.
“But since he held the Bible, if he's watching us today, I would like him to open that Bible and I’d like him to read Ecclesiastes 3: ‘To every season there's a time and a purpose,'” Sharpton said. “And I think that it is our job to let the world know when we see what is going on in the streets of this country, and in Europe, around the world, that you need to know what time it is.”
“We cannot use Bibles as a prop," Sharpton added. "And for those that have an agenda that are not about justice, this family will not let you use George as a prop."
Democrats widely criticized Trump for the photo-op and events leading up to it, when police aggressively removed peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany later compared the photo opportunity to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's inspection of World War II bombing damage in 1941, as well as former President George W. Bush throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game after the 9/11 attacks.
“For this president, it was powerful and important to send a message that the rioters, the looters the anarchists, they will not prevail, that burning churches are not what America is about,” McEnany said.