Trump was briefly taken to an underground bunker during Friday’s White House protests


The President was there for a little under an hour before being brought upstairs. It’s unclear if first lady Melania Trump and Barron Trump were also taken down with him.

Trump has repeatedly praised the Secret Service for its handling of the protests outside the White House Friday night in the wake of George Floyd’s death last week in Minneapolis.

The decision to physically move the President came as protesters confronted Secret Service officers outside the White House for hours on Friday — shouting, throwing water bottles and other objects at the line of officers, and attempting to break through the metal barriers.

At times, the crowd would remove the metal barriers and begin pushing up against the officers and their riot shields. The Secret Service continually replaced the barriers throughout the night as protesters wrestled them away.

Protesters pushed hard enough a few times that officers had to walk away with what appeared to be minor injuries. At one point, the agents responded to aggressive pushing and yelling by using pepper spray on the protesters.

Throughout the night, protesters could be heard chanting their support for Floyd, an unarmed black man who died last week after being pinned down by a white police officer, and their dislike of Trump. The protest, which began around 10 p.m. ET, Friday night outside the White House, had mostly quieted down by 3:30 a.m. ET, Saturday morning.

The crowd thinned out and Secret Service officers were able to expand their perimeter and barriers around Lafayette Park across from the White House.

Six arrests were made during the protests, the Secret Service confirmed in a statement Saturday afternoon.

The President on Thursday had used the threat of police retaliation and military intervention in Minnesota where protests turned violent and destructive — saying on Twitter that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Trump’s tweets on Saturday also invoked imagery tied to brutal civil rights-era police tactics.

Now, a serious divide has emerged among the President’s top allies and advisers over how the President should address several nights of protests and riots.

Trump is being urged by some advisers to formally address the nation and call for calm, while others have said he should condemn the rioting and looting more forcefully or risk losing middle-of-the-road voters in November, according to several sources familiar with the deliberations.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak, Noah Broder and Brian Todd contributed to this report.


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