WATCH: Jim Acosta and Kayleigh McEnany Go At it Over Cops ‘Pummeling’ Protesters for Trump’s Photo Op


CNN’s Jim Acosta and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany sparred during the White House press briefing on Wednesday over President Donald Trump’s controversial appearance at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

On reports that protesters were tear-gassed away from the park near the church so President Trump could visit after it was set on fire by rioters the night before, Acosta asked McEnany, “If the White House, the president, and his team had to do it all over again, would you have gassed and pummeled protesters to clear the park so the president could have a photo op?”

“Let me first address no tear gas were used and no rubber bullets were used,” replied McEnany. “So again, no tear gas was used, no rubber bullets were used. ”

“Chemical agents were used,” Acosta shot back. “We talked to an Episcopal priest who said she was gassed, others say they were tear gassed in that area.”

McEnany responded, “Well, no one was tear gassed. Let me make that clear. That’s been confirmed by DOD and by park services as well. So let me go back and address what happened because there’s been a lot of misreporting.”

“First, I would note that these protests that were going on in the morning, A.G. Barr had determined that we needed to expand the perimeter by one block on each side. He was surprised, A.G. Barr, when he arrived at the White House to see that that perimeter had not been moved, so he said that we needed to get going with moving that perimeter,” she explained. “He told to the officers that out there, that was late afternoon, so that decision was made in the morning.”

“The protesters were told three times over loud speaker that they needed to move, and what happened is it grew increasingly unruly. There were projectiles being thrown at officers,” McEnany continued. “Frozen water bottles were being thrown at officers, and various other projectiles, and the officers had no other choice in that moment than to act and make sure that they were safe and that the perimeter was pushed back, because as we all know, a church was burning in that very area the night before. So the appropriate action was taken.”

Watch above via Fox News.

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