President Donald Trump was briefly rushed to the White House’s underground bunker over the weekend as protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers ramped up in Washington, D.C., according to multiple outlets.
Trump was taken to the bunker by Secret Service agents on Friday night, spending just under an hour there, a source told the Associated Press, and an anonymous administration official confirmed to the outlet.
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According to CNN, sources said that the First Lady Melania Trump, and the couple’s son Barron Trump, were also taken to the bunker.
The decision was made after protestors gathered outside of the White House, with some throwing bricks and debris at the gates, the New York Times reported.
The White House did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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On Saturday morning, Trump, 73, shared a series of tweets praising the Secret Service for coming down “hard” on the protesters who stood outside the White House on Friday.
“Great job last night at the White House by the U.S @SecretService. They were not only totally professional, but very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe,” Trump wrote.
Trump then praised his agents for letting “‘protesters’ scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line,” his agents would “quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them.”
As protests continued on Sunday, the White House lights that illuminate the building’s exterior were turned off, veteran CBS News reporter Mark Knoller tweeted.
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Trump has repeatedly seemed to promote violence and destruction as outrage over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was pinned down and killed at the hands of a white police officer, has caused widespread unrest.
On Thursday night, Trump called some of the protesters “thugs” who were “dishonoring the memory of George Floyd” and he threatened intervention — seeming to suggest that the military would shoot looters.
And on Sunday, the president dubbed the protestors “anarchists” before attacking former Vice President and current presidential candidate Joe Biden.
On Saturday, Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, talked about the conversation he had with the president after the 46-year-old’s death.
“It was so fast. He didn’t give me the opportunity to even speak. It was hard. I was trying to talk to him but he just kept like pushing me off like ‘I don’t want to hear what you’re talking about.’ I just told him I want justice. I said that I can’t believe that they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight,” said Philonise Floyd.
“I can’t stand for that, that hurt me. I just don’t understand, man,” he said as he became emotional and fought back tears. “Why we have to go through this? Why we gotta have all this pain, man? I love my brother. I’m never going to see him again.”
Protestors outside of the White House on May 30
Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Trump made remarks about the call on Saturday, claiming that he “expressed the sorrow of our entire nation for their loss.”
“I understand the pain that people are feeling,” Trump said. “We support the right of peaceful protests and we hear their pleas, but what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with the memory of George Floyd. The violence and vandalism is being led by Antifa and other radical left-wing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses and burning down buildings.”
“The main victims of this horrible, horrible situation are the citizens who live in these once-lovely communities … The mobs are devastating the life’s work of good people and destroying their dreams. We support the overwhelming majority of police officers who are incredible in every way and devoted to public service.”
Derek Chauvin, the officer in the video of Floyd’s death, was fired from the department on Tuesday. Then on Friday, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
The three other officers who were present at the time of Floyd’s death are still under investigation, Freeman said during a press conference on Friday. He anticipates that they, too, will soon be facing charges.