Trump taken to underground bunker during White House protests: reports
Inside the White House, the mood was bristling with tension. Hundreds of protesters were gathering outside the gates, shouting curses at President Trump and in some cases throwing bricks and bottles.
Nervous for his safety, Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.
The scene on Friday night, described by a person with firsthand knowledge, added to the sense of unease at the White House as demonstrations spread after the brutal death of a black man in police custody under a white officer’s knee.
While in the end officials said they were never really in danger, Mr. Trump and his family have been rattled by protests that turned violent three nights in a row near the Executive Mansion.
After days in which the empathy he expressed for George Floyd, the man killed, was overshadowed by his combative threats to ramp up violence against looters and rioters, Mr. Trump spent Sunday out of sight, even as some of his campaign advisers were recommending that he deliver a nationally televised address before another night of possible violence.
The building was even emptier than usual as some White House officials planning to work were told not to come in case of renewed unrest.
In a series of tweets, Trump commended the US Secret Service for protecting him inside his fortified mansion Friday evening, saying he couldn’t have felt “more safe” as protesters gathered outside over Floyd’s death. The President suggested that dogs and weaponry were waiting inside the gates.
In his Saturday morning Twitter messages, Trump did not seek to lower the temperature or console Americans who find themselves facing parallel health and racial crises.
The decision to physically move the President came as protesters confronted Secret Service officers outside the White House for hours on Friday — shouting, throwing water bottles and other objects at the line of officers, and attempting to break through the metal barriers.
At times, the crowd would remove the metal barriers and begin pushing up against the officers and their riot shields. The Secret Service continually replaced the barriers throughout the night as protesters wrestled them away.
While some protesters stayed near the White House, others marched through the streets chanting, ‘No justice and no peace’ and ‘Say his name: George Floyd.’
The mood was angry and several speakers implored marchers to remain peaceful.
The march paused between the the Washington Monument and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Demonstrators sat down in the street for a moment of silence lasting for the eight minutes or more that the Minneapolis police officer reportedly knelt on Floyd’s neck.
Minutes after the Times posted its story, Trump tweeted: ‘FAKE NEWS!’
Judd Deere, a White House spokesperson, told DailyMail.com on Sunday: ‘The White House does not comment on security protocols and decisions.’
In times of emergency, the Secret Service will quickly move the president into an underground area of the White House known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center.