William Barr

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Attorney General: Lafayette Park Protesters Were Not Peaceful Despite What Media Claim

Jeff Katz
June 09, 2020 - 1:05 pm

During an interview on Sunday with CBS' "Face The Nation," Attorney General William Barr bashed the media for perpetrating a "big lie" that protesters cleared from Lafayette Park last week were peaceful.

Host Margaret Brennan asked the AG if he thought it was "appropriate" for police to use tear gas and other methods to clear out protesters who she said appeared to be peaceful. Barr responded by asserting the protesters were not peaceful and called out the media for pushing that narrative:

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about some of the events of the week. On Monday, Lafayette Park was cleared of protesters. You've spoken about this. The federal agents who were there report up to you. Did you think it was appropriate for them to use smoke bombs, tear gas, pepper balls, projectiles at what appeared to be peaceful protesters?

BARR: They were not peaceful protesters. And that's one of the big lies that the- the media is- seems to be perpetuating at this point.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Three of my CBS colleagues were there. We talked to them.

BARR: Yeah.

MARGARET BRENNAN: They did not hear warnings. They did not see protesters--

BARR: There were three warnings.

MARGARET BRENNAN:--throwing anything.

BARR: There were three warnings given. But let's get back to why we took that action. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, OK, there were violent riots in- at Lafayette Park where the park police were under constant attack at the- behind their bike rack fences. They were battling over the fences. They were trying to get entry. They were throwing bricks and inflammable liquid at the police. One fifth of the- there have been 750 officers hurt in the last week. One fifth of those have been in Washington, D.C.. Most of those have been federal officers at Lafayette Park. On Sunday, things reached a crescendo. The officers were pummeled with bricks. Crowbars were used to pry up the pavers at the park and they were hurled at police. There were fires set in not only St. John's Church, but a historic building at Lafayette was burned down.