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GOP senator: Trump used 'the Word of God as a political prop'

Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseHogan 'embarrassed that more people' in the GOP 'aren't speaking up' against Trump Democrats gear up for last oversight showdown with Trump GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results MORE (R-Neb.) said Tuesday he disagreed with the decision to forcefully clear protesters from around Lafayette Square for a "photo op" and accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE of using the Bible as a "political prop." 

"There is a fundamental—a Constitutional—right to protest, and I'm against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop," Sasse, who won his Senate primary last month, said in a statement. 

The National Guard, U.S. Park Police and Secret Service used rubber bullets and tear gas to clear demonstrators from Lafayette Square so that Trump could cross the street to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which had been set on fire by vandals the night before.

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Trump held a Bible as he stood in front of the church.

Trump on Tuesday hailed the "domination" of protesters in Washington, D.C., where military helicopters and tear gas were used Monday evening to disperse demonstrators, including those gathered peacefully outside the White House.

While a handful of Republican senators, including Sens. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottDemocrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Pfizer unveils detailed analysis of COVID-19 vaccine & next steps GOP senators congratulate Harris on Senate floor MORE (S.C.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTeam Trump offering 'fire hose' of conspiracy Kool-Aid for supporters Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Hogan 'embarrassed that more people' in the GOP 'aren't speaking up' against Trump MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMurkowski calls on Trump to begin transition process, decries 'pressure campaign on state legislators' Hogan 'embarrassed that more people' in the GOP 'aren't speaking up' against Trump GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results MORE (Alaska), have broken with the White House, several others have sidestepped by saying they haven't seen footage of the incident or defended it because it followed nights of protests and riots around Washington, D.C.

Sasse, in the same statement, also addressed the rights, saying that there was "no right to riot, no right to destroy others' property, and no right to throw rocks at police."

"Every public servant in America should be lowering the temperature and that means saying two basic truths over and over: (1) police injustice—like the evil murder of George Floyd—is repugnant and merits peaceful protest aimed at change; (2) riots are abhorrent acts of violence that hurt the innocent. Say both things loudly and repeatedly, as Americans work to end the violence and injustice," he added.