During a CBS interview with Margaret Brennan on Sunday, Attorney General, Bill Barr denied that police and federal authorities used “tear gas” on protesters at the White House. Protesters were pushed back from the White House last week, in order for, President Trump to make a speech at St. John’s Church located on the grounds. The speech is now famous for Trump holding a bible backward and upside down. Barr claimed that pepper spray was used and that it is not a “chemical irritant.”
Barr also claims that the timing of protesters being pushed back and Trump’s speech was pure coincidence and that one had nothing to do with the other. Brennan, on the other hand, questioned Barr’s assessment saying, “Three of my colleagues were there.” she added, “They did not see projectiles being thrown.”
Barr insisted, “I was there. They were thrown. I saw them thrown.” Brennan kept at Barr on the issue, asking, “And you believe that what the Park Police did using tear gas and projectiles was appropriate?” Barr answered, “When they met resistance, yes. They announced three times. They didn’t move. By the way, there was no tear gas used. The tear gas was used Sunday when they had to clear 8th Street to allow the fire department to come in to save St. John’s Church. That’s when tear gas was used.”
Brennan added, “There were chemical irritants used by the Park Police [on Monday].” Barr fired back at Brennan, “No, there were no chemical irritants. Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. It’s not chemical.”
The problem for Barr is that many experts disagree. According to a report last week by USA Today, “A pepper ball is a projectile that contains chemicals, like pepper spray, that would irritate the eyes and lungs. Such a combination with smoke canisters would create clouds of a chemical irritant that would cause tearing. Both are chemical irritants that can cause tearing, coughing, and sometimes vomiting. Those symptoms were reported from protesters who were cleared from the park on Monday.”
Despite the use of these countermeasures by authorities against protesters citizens show no signs of backing down.
What's Your Reaction?
Travis Earle is a veteran of the United States Navy and a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. He serves as a politics writer for Hill Reporter. Travis@HillReporter.com