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Trump demands Melania smile during religious shrine photo op as protests rage

Trump demands Melania smile during religious shrine photo op as protests rage

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We now find ourselves in the darkest days of the Trump presidency with disturbing indicators that things will only worsen in the coming weeks as our wannabe strongman leader leans more and more into his authoritarian inclinations.

COVID-19 is raging through the American population with over 107,000 dead already and the economy is in tatters. Simultaneously, our cities are being ripped apart at the seams as civilians protesting police brutality are tear-gassed, beaten, maimed by rubber bullets, and run over by vehicles wielded by law enforcement officers who seem far more interested in escalating the violence than resolving it. We are a country in crisis.

With America teetering on the edge, President Trump fled into his bunker over the weekend than overcompensated for his cowardice yesterday by ordering cops and National Guardsmen to violently disperse a peaceful protest so that he could stroll to a church for a photo op. By every imaginable metric, Trump is making this crisis worse.

Today, Trump decided to manufacture another pointless religious photo op as he and First Lady Melania visited the Catholic Saint John Paul II National Shrine. Once again he failed to lead any kind of prayer or Scripture reading and proved unable to offer any kind of statement that might convince frightened Americans that he has the current national situation under control.

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Washington’s Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory was less than impressed with Trump’s stunt.

“I find it baffling that and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree,” said Gregory in a statement.

Perhaps even more embarrassing for Trump than the Archbishop’s remarks was the behavior of his own wife. As the cameras snapped, First Lady Melania Trump appeared as if she’d rather be anywhere else in the world. Wearing big sunglasses, she looked at the photographers stone-faced, so clearly displeased to be there that it prompted her husband to ask her to smile. She responded with the barest curling of her lips.

If she is truly finally aware of the monster she’s married to it’s time for Melania to denounce her husband’s odious behavior and distance herself from him. Visible discomfort is not enough when our country is falling apart all around us. Anyone who stands silent beside Trump at this point is actively damaging our country.

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