According to the New York Times on Wednesday, Trump has griped to advisers about being unable get “good” stories from the press since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Citing advisers who have recently spoken to the President, the Times reported that Trump has become consumed with leaks from the White House. The President is reportedly urging officials to track down and prosecute those responsible for leaking information about his trip down to the building’s bunker.
Earlier this month, the Times and the Associated Press reported that the Secret Service were concerned with Trump’s safety after several protesters near the White House threw bricks at police officers guarding the building in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The Secret Service reportedly whisked Trump away to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center for an hour as a precaution.
The President denied the reports a few days later, telling Fox News radio host Brian Kilmeade that he had gone down to the bunker for a mere “inspection” during the day before the protests turned violent that night.
“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 told Kilmeade, before insisting that “we never had a problem, nobody ever came close to giving us a problem” during the protests.
However, Attorney General Bill Barr undercut the President’s claim a week later during an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier, where he defended the aggressive tactics that federal police used against peaceful protesters near the White House ahead of Trump’s infamous church photo-op.
Barr told Baier that the administration was “reacting to three days of extremely violent demonstrations right across from the White House” before saying that “things were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the President go down to the bunker (on Sunday).”