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As the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. approaches 2 million and mass demonstrations against police brutality continue to rock cities across the country, President Donald Trump is wildly concerned about reports that he retreated to an underground bunker during a protest outside of the White House on Friday.
Trump took refuge inside a secure bunker under the White House as protests in Washington D.C. heated up on Friday, according to multiple reports on Sunday. First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron also hid in the bunker, according to CNN. The whole incident reportedly lasted under an hour before Trump was brought back upstairs.
Trump pushed back on these reports in a Wednesday radio interview with Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade. The president called them “false” and claiming he was just doing an “inspection” of the bunker on Friday.
“I went down during the day, and I was there for a tiny little short period of time, and it was much more for an inspection,” Trump said. “There was no problem during the day.”
“And I go down, I’ve gone down two or three times, all for inspection, and you go there, someday you may need it,” Trump added. “But you go there and I went down, I looked at it, it was during the day, it was not a problem, and I read about it, it was like a big thing. There was never a problem, we never had a problem, nobody ever came close to giving us a problem.”
The decision to move Trump was made Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered at the gates, “shouting curses at President Trump and in some cases throwing bricks and bottles,” according to the New York Times.
Over the weekend, nearly a dozen Secret Service officers were sent to the hospital over the weekend with non-life threatening injuries, according to CNN, but the Secret Service said that no one under its protection was ever in danger.
In response to Trump’s explanation, Kilmeade pushed back and compared the situation to 9/11 and then-President George W. Bush not being allowed to land in D.C. “So you’re telling me, Mr. President, they didn’t say to you, ‘you have to go downstairs, my responsibility is your welfare’? They didn’t limit you at all in the house?” he asked.
“Nope, they didn’t tell me that at all,” Trump said. “But they said it would be a good time to go down, take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it.”
“And I’ve been down, that would be number two, two and a half sort of because I’ve done different things, but two and a half, but I looked, I was down for a very very short period of time, very very short period of time, I can’t tell you who went with me, but a whole group of people went with me as an inspecting factor, I was back up,” Trump continued.
“There’s so much fake news going around Brian, you have no idea,” Trump added. “Maybe, you do, actually have an idea.”
Cover: President Donald Trump arrives to speak in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)