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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.

Dave Lawler, author of World
36 mins ago - World

Biden's blinking red lights: Taiwan, Ukraine and Iran

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Russia is menacing Ukraine’s borders, China is sending increasingly ominous signals over Taiwan and Iran is accelerating its uranium enrichment to unprecedented levels.

The big picture: Ukraine, Taiwan and Iran’s nuclear program always loomed large on the menu of potential crises President Biden could face. But over the last several days, the lights have been blinking red on all three fronts all at once.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two with the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

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