Attorney General William P. Barr, FBI Director Christopher Wray, U.S. Marshals Director Donald W. Washington, BOP Director Michael Carvajal, ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo, and DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea spoke on the George Floyd protests and civil unrest at a virtual press conference on Thursday.
DAVID SPUNK, FOX NEWS: Hello, Mr. Attorney General. Yesterday, your colleague over at the Department of Defense Secretary Esper expressed some regret in the way that things were handled at Lafayette Park, Lafayette Square. Posing in a picture with President Trump, said he wants to stay apolitical, stay out of things. As you mentioned, you had this job in 1992, you saw this during the Rodney King riots. What do you think about politics? And do you believe that you’re being too political in this by standing in a picture with the president in front of the church? What is your take on this compared to what Secretary Esper said? ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL BARR: Yeah. I don’t know what he was conveying there. Obviously, my interest was to carry out the law enforcement functions of the federal government and to protect federal facilities and federal personnel, and also to address the rioting that was interfering with the government’s function. And that was what we were doing. I think the president is the head of the executive branch and the chief executive of the nation, and should be able to walk outside the White House and walk across the street to the church of presidents. I don’t necessarily view that as a political act. I don’t necessarily view that as a political act. I think it was entirely appropriate for him to do. I did not know that he was going to do that until later in the day after our plans were well underway to move the perimeter, so there was no correlation between our tactical plan of moving the perimeter out by one block and the president’s going over to the church. The president asked members of his cabinet to go over there with him, the two that were present, and I think it was appropriate for us to go over with him.