Barr in bunker blow to President
Attorney-general William Barr listens during a roundtable discussion with law enforcement officials on Monday
Attorney-general’s account of the events of May 29 stood in direct contrast to the version that Trump offered
Attorney-general William P. Barr contradicted President Trump on Monday and confirmed that the president was taken to an underground bunker late last month not for an “inspection” but because of security concerns over street demonstrations outside the White House.
“Things were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the president go down to the bunker,” Barr said in an interview with Fox News. “We can’t have that in our country.”
Barr’s account of the events of May 29 stood in direct contrast to the version that Trump offered last week when he denied a report in The New York Times that the Secret Service had taken him to the bunker for his security amid the protests. The President called that a “false report” and suggested that he had merely been looking the place over.
“I wasn’t down — I went down during the day, and I was there for a tiny little short period of time, and it was much more for an inspection,” Trump said last week. “There was no problem during the day.”
The trip to the bunker has become a major irritant to the President, who was infuriated at the notion that he would be seen as cowering in the face of protests even if the Secret Service was following protocols. Officials noted that a temporary barricade near the treasury department next door to the White House had been breached.
The day after the Times report was published, Trump insisted on marching out of the White House to stage a photo opportunity at St John’s Church a block away.