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

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseMeadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Chamber of Commerce endorses Cornyn for reelection 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 TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities 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 ScottThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump takes on CDC over schools Finger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate Tim Scott says he's talking with House Democrats about reviving police reform bill MORE (S.C.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMore Republicans should support crisis aid for the Postal Service GOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle Republicans considering an outdoor stadium for Florida convention: report MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump backs another T stimulus, urges governors to reopen schools 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.