Kellyanne Conway: Trump Used Bible As A "Symbol" That Anarchists Will Not Stop Religious Worship | Video | RealClearPolitics

Kellyanne Conway: Trump Used Bible As A "Symbol" That Anarchists Will Not Stop Religious Worship

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FNC: Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, calls out episcopal minister for judging the president's faith.


HARRIS FAULKNER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway joins me now.
 
Kellyanne, thank you for being on the program.
 
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: Thank you, Harris.
 
FAULKNER: I want to start with something that happened just moments ago. Senator Schumer of New York says he wants the Senate to adopt a resolution condemning the president for last night's actions, clearing Lafayette Square with tear gas ahead of the curfew that was supposed to be at 7:00 p.m.
 
What's your response to what Schumer wants to see happen how?
 
CONWAY: Well, it's pretty amazing that the senior senator from New York won't look in his own backyard. You have Governor Cuomo, just within the last hour, criticizing the NYPD and the mayor, Mayor de Blasio, saying, quote, “They didn't do their job last night.”
 
Everybody sees what happened to New York the last couple nights. It's heartbreaking to see the most densely populated American city fall victim to violence and looting and rioting and not peaceful protesting necessarily.
 
I would -- I would just say a couple of things, Harris. One is, George Floyd, who was murdered in plain sight, for all of us to see, and everybody should, as difficult as it is, watch all eight minutes and 49 seconds of that video.
 
FAULKNER: Yes.
 
CONWAY: They should see that this man was murdered in cold blood for all to see. And that his family is calling for peace. They're calling for protests but peace. They are saying, please don't destroy your -- your cities and the rioting and the looting, et cetera.
 
That's what's going on in Cluck Schumer's New York, and he's diverting attention, second guessing what I suppose law enforcement decided to do, based on what had happened the night before in Washington, D.C., in Lafayette Park, which was to expand the perimeter.
 
I understand they expanded it from H Street to I Street. We had an iconic church set on fire. We had store fronts, restaurants that were just about to reopen, Harris, after almost three months of being closed because of the coronavirus, just about to open. They've invested money in new structures, in new social distancing policies to get their feet back on the ground at these restaurants and these mom and pop stores, only to have them destroyed.
 
I walked around yesterday. I was driven -- you know, when I was on my way home I saw people putting up plywood on their businesses. You see this all across the country. And nobody wants that.
 
So Chuck Schumer needs to look no further than his own New York and give some help to that city.
 
FAULKNER: You know, you mentioned that church. And there are other churches, too, that people are talking about today. They want to see them protected. The bishop of the Episcopal diocese church of Washington, which includes St. Johns, where the president walked to yesterday, is actually, Kellyanne, going after the president's photo op, saying he used her church as a backdrop and the Bible as a prop.
 
Let's watch, and then I -- I want to see what you have to say after you see this.
 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
 
BISHOP MARIANN EDGAR BUDDE, EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON (via telephone): The president just used a Bible, and the sacred text of the Judeo Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus. I am outraged.
 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
 
FAULKNER: Kellyanne, what do you say?
 
CONWAY: How ironic because just moments ago, in the Oval Office, I was there. The president, with the first lady and the vice president, on either side of him, signed an executive order furthering his policies with respect to religious liberty here in this great country and worldwide.
 
That follows, Harris, on the president addressing the United Nations General Assembly last September on the matter of religious liberty saying, please, stop persecuting people based on their faith, that we will not support nations that do so.
 
And this is a continuum by this president. Ten short days ago, 11 days ago, he said reopen our places of worship. We need more prayer, not less.
 
FAULKNER: Right.
 
CONWAY: Stop treating them like they're non-essential. Stop discriminating against these places of worship that really compel a special solicitude before you ban people from worshipping. That followed closely with praying for the souls of George Floyd and the African-American police officer in Oakland who also lost his life.
 
And then the president was over at St. John's today. We went to the St. John Paul II Shrine where the president and the first lady laid a wreath commemorating I think the 41st anniversary of the former pontiff in Poland and also his 100th birthday that just passed. And now, just moments later, an executive order on religious liberty.
 
Why do I say all that? Because that is the best answer to the question you asked about the Episcopal minister. That is not, quote, “Her church.” That is not, quote, “Her Bible.”
 
We don't look into other people's hearts and souls and discern and judge what their faith is, why the president felt compelled to walk there, why he held that Bible up.
 
FAULKNER: OK.
 
CONWAY: That is a symbol to everyone that we will not allow arsonists and anarchists who set that fire ablaze, who really -- who really, I think, demean the memory of those who have lost their lives in the name of their respective faiths and religions. We won't allow them to dissuade us from practicing our religion.
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