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President Trump walking back to the White House. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Moments before President Trump began his Rose Garden address, a mass of law enforcement suddenly marched forward in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

Why it matters: It was a jarring scene as police in the nation's capital forcefully cleared young men and women gathered legally in a public park on a sunny evening, all of it on live television.

  • They confronted protesters as many held up their hands, saying: "Don't shoot," AP's Jill Colvin and Darlene Superville report.
  • Soon, law enforcement officers in riot gear were firing tear gas and deploying flash bangs into the crowd.

With smoke still wafting, Trump emerged in the Rose Garden for a dramatic split-screen of his own creation.

  • Soon after, Trump strolled out of the White House gates — something he had never done before — and walked across the park.
  • Sections of the park and surrounding sidewalks were strewn with garbage, including plastic water bottles. Some sections were scrawled with graffiti.

Standing alone outside St. John's Church, Trump held up a black-covered Bible.

  • He didn't talk about George Floyd, the church or the damage it had suffered.

At one point, he stopped and pumped his fist in the air at National Guard members in the distance.

  • "We're going to keep it nice and safe," he said.

Go deeper: Trump goes full law-and-order

Go deeper

Mark Meadows: "Most of Donald Trump's America is peaceful"

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows argued Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "most of Donald Trump's America is peaceful" and that the violence that the Trump campaign has so frequently highlighted as part of its "law and order" message is in "Democrat cities."

Why it matters: One of the main themes of last week's Republican convention was that scenes of violent protests and crime are what America will look like under a Joe Biden administration. Biden shot back on Thursday, saying: "The violence we’re witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me. It’s getting worse, and we know why."

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.