- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 3, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laced commentary on George Floyd protests and riots across the nation Wednesday with digs at President Trump’s recent visit to St. John’s Church.

The Democratic governor was none too impressed with Mr. Trump’s decision to hold a Bible while visiting this historic D.C. church, which arsonists targeted Sunday night.

“The president held up the Bible the other day in Washington, D.C. Here in New York we actually read the Bible,” Mr. Cuomo said.

Mr. Trump’s critics have pilloried his visit to St. John’s as a hollow photo-op, while the president pointed to looting and arson as a betrayal of Mr. Floyd’s memory.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” Mr. Cuomo said, in addition to sharing passages such as, “if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

The commentary also follows criticism of Mr. Trump for walking to St. John’s Church from the White House after law enforcement personnel pushed back protesters near Lafayette Square.

Mr. Trump, however, has insisted from the start that he also supports protests — provided they are peaceful.

“All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd,” he said Monday. “My administration is fully committed that, for George and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain. But we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob. The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as their President, I will fight to keep them safe. I will fight to protect you. I am your President of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was filmed pinning Mr. Floyd down by the neck prior to the man’s death, was arrested and faces charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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