Donald Trump photo op at St. John's Church

2020 controversial presidential photo op

On June 1, 2020, amid the George Floyd protests in Washington, D.C., law enforcement officers used tear gas and other riot control tactics to forcefully clear peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square.

The picture

This was done to create a path for President Donald Trump and senior administration officials to walk from the White House to St. John's Episcopal Church. Trump held up a Bible and posed for a photo shoot in front of Ashburton House (the church's parish house), which had been damaged by a fire during protests the night before.[1]

Former military leaders, current religious leaders, and elected officials from both parties criticized Trump for the event. The event was described by The New York Times as "a burst of violence unlike any seen in the shadow of the White House in generations" and possibly one of the defining moments of the Trump presidency.[2] Joe Biden and some newspapers said that Donald Trump held the Bible upside down, which is not true.[3]


  1. Barnes, Sophia (June 1, 2020). "Historic Church Near White House Damaged Amid Unrest; Leaders Pray for Healing". WRC-TV. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  2. Helene Cooper (June 11, 2020). "Milley Apologizes for Role in Trump Photo Op: 'I Should Not Have Been There'". The New York Times.
  3. Washington, District of Columbia 1100 Connecticut Ave NW Suite 1300B; Dc 20036. "PolitiFact - Joe Biden wrong about Donald Trump holding Bible upside-down". @politifact. Retrieved 2021-02-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)