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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.

Trump can't quit mainstream media

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa are interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" in September. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa issued a rebuttal on Friday to a statement by former President Donald Trump that misrepresented their reporting — and once again showed the 45th president's thin skin about mainstream media.

Driving the news: "Former President Trump said ... our book, 'Peril,' implied that he was planning to go to war with China," the statement begins. "[W]e report that Chairman of Joint Chiefs Mark Milley 'believed that Trump did not want a war' before or after the 2020 election."

NY declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron COVID variant

Governor Kathy Hochul makes an announcement about a new plan transforming Penn Station on Nov. 3, 2021. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases and the newly-identified Omicron variant of the virus.

Driving the news: The declaration enables the state to acquire supplies to fight a potential surge in cases, increase hospital capacity and combat potential staff shortages, NBC's local affiliate reports.

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