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Barr on Trump's Bunker Visit: 'Things Were So Bad'

AG says Secret Service recommended president go there for safety; Trump said it was for an 'inspection'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2020 7:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump's retreat to the White House's underground bunker late last month as hundreds of protesters for George Floyd demonstrated outside earned derision from many and an excuse from Trump: He'd gone there just for a "tiny little short period of time," during the daytime, for an "inspection." On Monday evening, Attorney General Bill Barr appeared on Fox News with a story not quite in sync with the president's, the Hill reports. "We were reacting to three days of extremely violent demonstrations right across from the White House, a lot of injuries to police officers, arson," Barr told Bret Baier of what happened on May 29. "Things were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the president go down to the bunker. We can't have that in our country." Barr added that's why federal law enforcement forcibly removed peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square that evening.

The New York Times notes that since it was revealed Trump had retreated to the bunker, more officially known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, he's been the butt of jokes online, and from late-night TV hosts and protesters, who've been referencing the bunker visit on placards. A source tells CNN that if things ever get so bad that President Trump is moved to the bunker, first lady Melania Trump and their son Barron, as well as any other members of the first family who happen to be on the premises, would also be moved there. Town & Country offers a brief history of the facility, which was built during World War II for use in case of an air raid from foes. It's not used often, but one of its most famous visitors was then-Vice President Dick Cheney, who was taken there on Sept. 11, 2001. Former President George W. Bush also met with administration officials there in the following days. (Read more William Barr stories.)

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