Trump taken to underground bunker amid protests, calls for Antifa ban

As protests outside the White House turned violent, the president was ushered by the Secret Service into a bunker used in times of terrorist attacks.

Protesters rally at the White House against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, DC, US, May 31, 2020 (photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
Protesters rally at the White House against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, DC, US, May 31, 2020
(photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump was briefly rushed to an underground bunker in the White House, amid protests in Washington on Sunday night, The New York Times reported.
Violent protests have been breaking out in cities across the United States in recent days following the killing of George Floyd, an African-American, by a white police officer in downtown Minneapolis on May 25. At least 75 cities have seen protestors take to the streets.
Around 4,100 people were arrested in protests across the nation over the weekend, according to the Associated Press. In the capital, multiple fires were set near the White House. Bricks and bottles were also thrown at the presidential residence.
According to a source inside the White House who spoke to the Times, the mood inside the residence was tense as the hundreds of protestors gathered for the third night in a row. Nervous for the president's safety, Secret Service agents "abruptly rushed" Trump to an underground bunker used in times of a terrorist attack, where he remained for less than an hour.
The building was quieter than usual, as some officials were told not to come in to work in case of renewed unrest. By day, thousands gathered in the nation's capital to protest peacefully, but as the night drew in, hundreds remained to give voice to their anger, surging toward lines of riot police armed with plastic shields as the two sides pushed for control of Lafayette Square across from the White House.
Fireworks were set off, bottles thrown and fires set, including a car which was ignited. At least one of the fires appeared to have spread as flames rose in the basement of St. John's Episcopal Church, known as the "Church of Presidents" because it has been attended at least once by every chief executive since the days of James Madison. However, the fire was quickly put out by firefighters attending the scene.
The president responded by taking angrily to Twitter on Sunday night and in the early hours of Monday morning, where he called for the National Guard to be deployed and for mayors and governors to take control of the rapidly escalating situation.

The president also tweeted his intention to ban Antifa, the anti-fascist movement which has been blamed for fanning the flames of violence as the protests grew increasingly riotous, by designating it a terrorist organization.

In another, he simply tweeted the words "LAW & ORDER!"
The tweets garnered criticism from within the Republican Party. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate, told Fox News Sunday: “Those are not constructive tweets, without any question,” although he added that he was thankful that he and the president were able to "sit down and dialogue on how we move this nation forward."
However, Robert C. O’Brien, the president’s national security adviser, backed the president, calling for the protests to remain peaceful.
While Trump understood the anger expressed over Floyd's death, O'Brien told CNN, he would continue “to take a strong stand for law and order.
“We want peaceful protestors who have real concerns about brutality and racism. They need to be able to go to the city hall. They need to be able to petition their government and let their voices be heard,” O’Brien told the State of the Union program. “And they can’t be hijacked by these left-wing antifa militants who are burning down primarily communities in the African-American sections and the Hispanic sections of our city.”

Tags Antifa