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

Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseGOP senators applaud Biden for global vaccine donation plans Pence: Trump and I may never 'see eye to eye' on events of Jan. 6 White House: Biden will not appoint presidential Jan. 6 commission 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 TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC 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 ScottSen. Manchin paves way for a telehealth revolution Kerry Washington backs For the People Act: 'Black and Brown voters are being specifically targeted' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Bipartisan group reaches infrastructure deal; many questions remain MORE (S.C.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office Pelosi says she's giving Senate more time on Jan. 6 commission Overnight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office Democrat presses Haaland on oil and gas review Hundreds in West Virginia protest Manchin's opposition to voting rights legislation 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.