Kellyanne Conway Blasts Bishop Outraged Over Trump’s Church Photo Op

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 16: Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President of the United States and White House Advisor, speaks to during an on-camera interview at the White House on December 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. Conway criticized former FBI Director James Comey and fiercely defended President Trump against Democrats in the Impeachment proceedings during the interview. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway speaks during an on-camera interview at the White House on December 16, 2019. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway backed up Trump’s decision to use tear gas to disperse protesters for a photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church Monday night, and lashed out at the congregation’s bishop, who sharply criticized the move. 

When asked for a response to D.C. Episcopal Bishop Rev. Mariann Budde, who expressed outrage that the President had used her church as a “prop,” Conway criticized the presiding bishop for exercising what she saw as a kind of religious righteousness.

“That is not ‘her church,’ that is not ‘her Bible,’” Conway said. “We don’t look into other people’s hearts and souls and discern and judge what their faith is.”

Harping on the same issue in separate remarks to the press Tuesday, Conway suggested that despite creating a scene with the intention of taking a photo, the tear-gassing event at the church Monday night that involved a photo being taken of Trump with a Bible in hand was not actually a “photo op.”

Borrowing rhetoric that has been used repeatedly by conservatives with regard to the anti-racism protests of the past week, Conway said she would not allow “arsonists and anarchists” to dissuade her or others from “practicing our religion” — despite the fact that among those tear-gassed on Monday were members of the church.

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