Attorney General Bill Barr confirmed on Fox News' "Special Report" on Monday that the Secret Service recommended that President Trump go down to the White House bunker last week during tense protests nearby.

Why it matters: Barr directly contradicted Trump's claim last week that he'd only gone down to the bunker to "inspect" the facility. The president spent an hour in the bunker, which is typically used for emergencies such as terrorist attacks.

What they're saying:

  • Trump last week: "I've gone down two or three times, all for inspection. And, you go there, some day you may need it. I went down. I looked at it. It was during the day, and it was not a problem ... There was never a problem ... nobody ever came close to giving us a problem."
  • Barr on Monday: "We were reacting to three days of extremely violent demonstrations right across from the White House. A lot of injuries to police officers, arson. Things were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the president go down to the bunker. We can't have that in our country."

The big picture: Barr has come under scrutiny for directing federal law enforcement to clear Lafayette Park ahead of the president's photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church last Monday.

  • He denies that protestors were intentionally cleared from Lafayette Park to pave way for Trump's outing, and said on Fox that he would do it again knowing what he knows now about the conduct of protesters.

Go deeper: Barr accuses media of lying about peaceful protesters outside White House

Go deeper

Mark Meadows: I wouldn't have recommended Woodward's WH access

President Trump confers with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows at the White House on Sept. 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox News Wednesday he wouldn't have recommended that Bob Woodward gain the extensive White House access the journalist did for his interviews with President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump has faced criticism following leaks of Woodward's new book "Rage," particularly for his comments during on-the-record interviews earlier this year that his approach to the coronavirus pandemic was to "play it down" to avoid a panic — something Meadows used in defense of the president during his interview.

50 mins ago - World

"I stood up for that": Pope Francis voices support for same-sex civil unions

Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Photo: Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, per the Catholic News Agency.

Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

2 hours ago - World

Countries waiting to see if Trump wins before moving on Israel normalization

The delegation lands at Israel's Ben Gurion airport. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty

The White House is attempting to leverage momentum from Israel's normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE to get more Arab countries on board before the U.S. election.

Driving the news: President Trump wants Sudan's removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list to be accompanied by a pre-election announcement on Israel.

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