WASHINGTON (AP) – A handful of GOP senators spoke out against President Donald Trump, criticizing his visit to a church after police removed peaceful demonstrators from a park near the White House.

The remarks yesterday came even as most Republicans continued to avoid any disapproval of the president.

In a scene captured live on TV, police cleared Lafayette Park so Trump could walk to St. John’s Church and pose with a Bible.

Trump’s actions drew widespread condemnation from Democrats and religious leaders who said he was misusing the Bible and the church where presidents have prayed for more than 150 years. Some Republicans joined in the criticism.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse says, “There is no right to riot, no right to destroy others’ property … but there is a fundamental – a Constitutional – right to protest, and I’m against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop.”

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, said Trump’s visit to the church was unhelpful.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said it was “painful to watch peaceful protesters be subjected to tear gas in order for the president to go across the street to a church that I believe he’s attended only once.”

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