President Donald Trump was definitely not running away from the protesters outside the White House when he spent an hour in a secret bunker on Friday, okay?
During an interview with Fox News radio host Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday morning, Trump denied reports that he had taken shelter in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center out of safety concerns, claiming that he had gone down there for a mere inspection during the day on Friday 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,” he told Kilmeade.
Trump insisted that “we never had a problem, nobody ever came close to giving us a problem” during the protests.
“Nope, they didn’t tell me that at all,” he replied when the Fox News host asked if the Secret Service had told him they needed to bring him down to the bunker for security reasons. “But they said it would be a good time to go down, take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it.”
Trump claimed he’s visited the bunker “two or three times, all for inspection” (later in the interview, he said the visits were “two and a half, sort of, because I’ve done different things”).
The President insisted again that he was only down there “for a very very short period of time, very very short period of time.”
“I can’t tell you who went with me, but a whole group of people went with me as an inspecting factor,” he said.
The President also addressed his widely criticized photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday, which he had reportedly done merely to be seen outside the White House after having become upset by reports that he retreated to the bunker.
He denied ordering law enforcement to forcibly remove non-violent protesters and people at the church (including clergy) with teargas in order for him to stage the performance.
“I didn’t say, ‘Oh, move them out.’ I didn’t know who was there,” Trump told Kilmeade.