Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A U.S. Park Police spokesperson told Vox it was a "mistake" to say in a Tuesday statement that tear gas was not used the day prior to clear protesters from Lafayette Square ahead of President Trump's photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church.

The big picture: Sgt. Eduardo Delgado described the mistake as a difference in semantics. The department — as it claimed in its statement — only used "smoke canisters and pepper balls," which, he conceded, can cause tears and irritate eyes.

  • Delgado maintained that the U.S. Park Police statement denying the use of tear gas was accurate, noting they did not use tear gas. But he acknowledged that saying the substance was not used could appear to be misleading.
  • "I think the term 'tear gas' doesn't even matter anymore. It was a mistake on our part for using 'tear gas' because we just assumed people would think CS or CN," Delgado said, referring to two common forms of tear gas.
  • "It was kind of a fault on our part just not saying in the first place 'we did not use CN or CS, we used smoke and pepper balls,' and that would've made it a moot point," Delgado said.

Be smart: The term "tear gas" used to broadly mean a synthetic chemical irritant, Vox notes.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Aug 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Poll: A majority of Pennsylvanians oppose fracking

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Fifty-two percent oppose fracking in a CBS News poll of registered voters in Pennsylvania, while 48% favor the oil-and-gas extraction method, a finding within the poll's margin of error.

The big picture: Pennsylvania is a key swing state where natural gas development is a major industry, and President Trump's campaign has sought to turn Joe Biden's energy plans into a political liability.

Mike Allen, author of AM
10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' Armageddon option

A makeshift memorial outside the Supreme Court yesterday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Furious Democrats are considering total war — profound changes to two branches of government, and even adding stars to the flag — if Republicans jam through a Supreme Court nominee, then lose control of the Senate.

On the table: Adding Supreme Court justices ... eliminating the Senate's 60-vote threshold to end filibusters ... and statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico. "If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021," Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) tweeted.

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 30,814,638 — Total deaths: 957,632— Total recoveries: 21,068,829Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 6,766,724 — Total deaths: 199,268 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Trump's health secretary asserts control over all new rules, including for vaccines In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.