NBC’s Dilanian Admits No Evidence Police Cleared LaFayette Protesters for Trump: ‘Narrative We Thought We Knew Was Not the Reality’
NBC’s Ken Dilanian joined host Chuck Todd on Wednesday to detail a finding that — contrary to reporting at the time — authorities didn’t clear Lafayette Park last year on behalf of then-President Donald Trump.
Media reported at the time of the incident that police had cleared Lafayette Park of protestors in order to allow for Trump to stage a photo opportunity at a church. According to an independent watchdog, there is no evidence that the park was cleared because of Trump.
The Inspector General of the Interior Department released a report on Wednesday noting its finding that Park Police in Washington, D.C. cleared the park of protesters without direction from Trump, who subsequently walked through the park for the photo opportunity.
“This is a really surprising finding,” said Dilanian.
Police did not clear Lafayette Park area so former Pres. Trump could hold "Bible" photo op, according to new watchdog report.
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) June 9, 2021
“They had decided … to clear the park of protesters hours before … so a contractor could install some anti-scale fencing, and that decision was made irrespective of what Trump decided to do,” he added, noting that there was “no evidence whatsoever” the decision was related to Trump. He also described part of the report in which former Attorney General William Barr delivered the news that Trump was planning the impromptu visit. “The Park Police commander is shocked by this and says, according to the report, ‘Are you freaking kidding me’?” Dilanian noted.
“The narrative we thought we knew was not the reality,” he added.
Todd expressed his bewilderment, saying, “It’s weird … they’re saying the Park Police decision wasn’t based on having the photo-op happen, but it does sound like the Park Police accelerated their efforts when they found out the president was coming.”
Dilanian attempted to dissuade Todd, replying, “The report doesn’t say they accelerated their efforts.”
Trump responded to the news on Wednesday afternoon, saying in a statement:
As we have said all along, and it was backed up in today’s highly detailed and professionally written report, our fine Park Police made the decision to clear the park to allow a contractor to safely install antiscale fencing to protect from Antifa rioters, radical BLM protestors, and other violent demonstrators who are causing chaos and death to our cities. In this instance, they tried burning down the church the day before the clearing. Fortunately, we were there to stop the fire from spreading beyond the basement—and it was our great honor and privilege to do so. Again, thank you to the Inspector General!
Watch above via MSNBC.
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