PRESIDENT Donald Trump has walked out of the White House to pay tribute to a church hit by arsonists as anti-racism protests against police brutality continue to rage outside his doorstep.
While surrounded by police and military men, Trump strolled past buildings defaced with rioters' graffiti on Monday to pay homage to a 200-year-old church set ablaze by arsonists the night before during heated protests in Washington DC.
As peaceful protesters were dispersed with tear gas and hit by rubber bullets and flash bang grenades, Trump made a surprise visit to the historic St. John's Episcopal Church.
Starting with James Madison, every president who has held office has attended a church service at the house of worship, according to WTTG.
"Now I am going to pay my respects to a very, very special place," Trump said during a speech at the Rose Garden moments before his walk.
The president walked across Lafayette Park and posed in front of the boarded-up church with a bible, which he held up for several moments before declaring: "We're the greatest country in the world."
Before Trump paid a visit to the torched church, he announced in his remarks from the Rose Garden that he was taking new measures to quell the increasingly violent protests around the US.
The president vowed justice for George Floyd, who died last Monday after former cop Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck and suffocated him for nearly nine minutes.
He declared himself "your president of law and order" and said he was committed to upholding laws and mobilizing the military to end nationwide looting and rioting.
"My first and highest duty as your president is to defend our great country and the American people," said Trump.
"I swore an oath to uphold the laws of out nation and that is exactly what I will do."
Trump threatened to invoke an 1807 law to mobilize the military around the country to "quickly solve the problem" and called the fiery Sunday night demonstrations in the nation's capital a "disgrace".
"I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," he said.
"I am also taking swift and decisive action to protect our great capital, Washington DC. What happened in this city last night was a total disgrace".
The president issued a stern warning to rioters and said he would throw them in jail.
"Those who threaten innocent life and property will be arrested, detained, and prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law. I want the organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail," he said.
Hours before protests kicked off in the nation's capital for another night, Trump told "weak" governors that "they must jail 'terrorist' protesters" for a decade after initially peaceful demonstrations erupted in violence around the country.
According to audio of a video meeting obtained by CBS News, Trump said: "Washington was under very good control, but we're now going to have it under much more control."
"We're going to pull in thousands of people. We're going to clamp down very strong," he added.
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