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WATCH: First Family Hosts Fourth of July Celebration at White House

Fmr CNN Anchor Bernard Shaw Calls Out Trump’s Clearing Out of Protestors for Church Stunt: ‘Would Have Made P.T. Barnum Proud’

This was probably not the anniversary moment Bernard Shaw was expecting.

The legendary former CNN anchor appeared on Erin Burnett: OutFront on Monday night to celebrate the network’s 40th anniversary, and was immediately thrown into commenting on President Donald Trump’s widely panned photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church right after an aggressive speech promising to restore “law and order” in the streets of America.

Burnett replayed the scenes of Trump, walking in a security bubble, crossing just-cleared streets to stand in front of a church where a small fire was started in its basement after protests spiraled out of control on Sunday night. Trump concluded the bewildering moment by awkwardly posing with a Bible in front of the boarded-up windows, but without ever bothering to go inside to see the damage or meet with any church officials.

“You’re in Washington. We’ve seen this incredible scene play out moments ago right outside the White House,” Burnett said to Shaw. “The president wanted to speak in the Rose Garden. Rubber bullets, flash bangs, tear gas deployed to disperse the crowd, peaceful crowd. The president, it became clear, he did all that so he would be able to walk across the street for a photo op with members outside St. John’s church where he held up a bible. How did you feel as you saw all of this unfold?”

“I was thinking that the critical focus of history will judge Donald Trump as a presidential aberration,” Shaw said, not indulging any measured, news anchor objectivity. “Walking from the White House through the tear gas-laden Lafayette Park to the steps of the church of the presidents, St. John’s, and holding up that bible would have made P.T. Barnum proud.”

“Before he did that, he said, ‘I am your president of law and order,’ and he said, you know, invoking an act not invoked since 1807 to deploy U.S. military troops on American soil,” Burnett added. “But that was the tone he set. What do you make of that tone?

“That tone is not surprising,” Shaw added, before alluding to Trump’s infamous equivocation about “very fine people on both sides” involving a 2017 rally by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia. “This man has a total preoccupation with one thing, and that is getting re-elected in November. I think of what he said about the people of Charlottesville. He said ‘there are good people on both sides.'”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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