Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, released on June 2 a statement on President Donald Trump’s actions on June 1.

“President Trump last night chose to threaten to use our military to quell legitimate protests and to show in a dramatic way his approach to the concerns of millions of Americans,” said Coons. “He directed the police to use tear gas and rubber bullets to clear Lafayette Park so he could stride across to historic St. John’s Episcopal Church.”

“Then, he chose to wave a Bible and to use the backdrop of the church for a photo rather than entering the church, opening the Bible or listening to its message: that leaders should use their position and power to listen and respond to the grievances of the marginalized and oppressed,” said Coons. “President Trump’s actions and statements last night did not contribute to healing the deep divisions in our country, in fact, they only further widened them.”

“I urge all protestors to remain peaceful and continue speaking out loudly during this historic time,” said Coons. “An opportunity for change has arrived, and it can only be seized through powerful, peaceful demonstration.”