In a set of brief remarks, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held a Bible in the Capitol and asked the president to lead the nation in healing after days of protests and clashes with police.
She began by referencing President Donald Trump’s Monday evening photo op in which he held up a Bible, Pelosi said, “Last night when I saw the president hold up the Bible, I was thinking of so many things in the Bible that would have been appropriate in terms of the humanity of all people in country.”
Moments later, Pelosi opened the Bible and read from the Book of Ecclesiastes saying, “Let’s focus on a time to heal, a time to heal, we have had as the role of the President of the United States, the role of commander-in-chief, the President of the United States is a person who has a responsibility to heal.”
She also quoted George H.W. Bush’s statement after the Rodney King beating.
“Those terrible scenes drove us all to demand an end to gratuitous violence and brutality. Law enforcement officials cannot place themselves above the law that they are sworn to defend. It was sickening to see the beating that was rendered and there’s no way, no way in my view, to explain that away.”
Pelosi also quoted former President Barack Obama’s remarks after the death of Eric Gardner.
NEW: Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a president of the United States “has the responsibility to heal,” quoting former President. George H. W. Bush following the Rodney King riots and Former President Barack Obama’s following the killing of Eric Garner. https://t.co/cVIWqSfzSR pic.twitter.com/GlM4TXitYC— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 2, 2020
Moments later, Pelosi called for Trump to be a “healer-in-chief and not a fanner of the flame.”
After police used tear gas and pushed back peaceful protesters for Trump’s church visit, Pelosi reads from the Bible.— ABC News (@ABC) June 2, 2020
“A time to heal, the book of Ecclesiastes,” she says, adding she hopes Trump will be “healer in chief and not a fanner of the flames.” https://t.co/D1ipln2GS9 pic.twitter.com/opl7bQmDQv
The Speaker also condemned the police dispersing peaceful protesters with tear gas outside the White House. Pelosi said “What is that? That has no place.”