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Trump vows to deploy military force, more violent clashes in cities despite curfews

Trump held up a Bible outside the church, posed for pictures and then returned to the White House.
Image: Protesters disperse as tear gas, pepper spray and flash-bang devices are deployed by Seattle police during a protest against police brutality and the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Seattle
Protesters disperse as tear gas, pepper spray and flash-bang devices are deployed by Seattle police during a protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd in Seattle on Monday. Lindsey Wasson / Reuters

Good morning, NBC News readers.

President Trump vowed to deploy military force on American soil to contain protests, tear gas was used on peaceful demonstrators yards from the White House and there were more violent clashes in cities across the country overnight despite curfews.

Here's what we're watching this Tuesday morning.

Police used tear gas on protesters to clear the way for Trump photo-op

Moments before President Donald Trump vowed to use military force to quell violent demonstrations gripping the nation, police backed by the National Guard stormed into a peaceful protest across the street to clear the way for a presidential photo-op.

"I am mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting," Trump said in his address, which was delivered as police fired smoke devices outside to push protesters back from the White House.

"If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," Trump said, referring to himself as "your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters."

But nearly simultaneously, U.S. Park Police and the National Guard started using tear gas and flash-bangs to clear out peaceful protesters gathered in Lafayette Square before Washington's 7 p.m. curfew.

After he delivered his remarks, Trump, surrounded by many of his West Wing aides, walked across the street that had been cleared in order to stand outside St. John's Episcopal Church, which suffered fire damage in protests Sunday night.

Trump held up a Bible outside the church, posed for pictures and then returned to the White House. He did not go inside the church or express any religious sentiments there.

The Episcopal bishop of Washington blasted Trump's visit, saying it was "deeply offensive" for him to use the "church as a backdrop and the Bible as a prop."

The White House later released a glossy video of the event set to instrumental music on its official Twitter account.

Officials in cities coast to coast implemented curfews for Monday night, hopeful that they would prevent another night of violent, chaotic demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd.

But the citywide orders weren't enough to keep the peace between protesters and police in some places. There were reports of clashes in Philadelphia, New York, Seattle and several other cities.

Here are some other developments:

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators by shooting tear gas next to St. John's Episcopal Church outside of the White House on Monday. Watch Trump posing with the Bible outside the church minutes later. Jose Luis Magana / AFP - Getty Images

White nationalist group posing as antifa called for violence on Twitter

A Twitter account claiming to belong to a national "antifa" organization and pushing violent rhetoric related to protests has been linked to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, according to a Twitter spokesperson.

The antifa movement — a network of loosely organized radical groups who use direct action to fight the far right and fascism — has been targeted by Trump as the force behind some of the violence and property destruction seen at some protests, though little evidence has been provided for such claims.

The Twitter spokesperson said the account violated the company's platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts. Twitter suspended the account after a tweet that incited violence.

Despite that misinformation campaign, tens of thousands of legitimate protesters have taken to the streets in the wake of Floyd's death.

In the video below, demonstrators explain to NBC News what is motivating them.

The government counts 26,000 COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. That's at least 14,000 deaths too low.

Three months after the coronavirus began rampaging through U.S. nursing homes, the federal government has released the first nationwide data on the virus' impact on long-term care facilities, showing nearly 26,000 resident deaths and 449 staff deaths to date.

But the figures released Monday are significantly lower than other estimates, as they capture only a part of total coronavirus deaths associated with nursing homes.

According to the latest NBC News tally, nearly 40,000 coronavirus deaths are associated with nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term care facilities since the beginning of the pandemic — representing almost 40 percent of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

And even the NBC News tally is likely to be an undercount, as a handful of states have still not released their nursing home death tolls.

See more updates on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in our live blog.

More countries across the world are lifting lockdown measures. Paris' famous street-side cafes are reopening today.Christian Hartmann / Reuters

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THINK about it

George Floyd, Colin Kaepernick and the enduring, racist hypocrisy of the NFL are all connected, sports writer Will Leitch writes in an opinion piece.


How to talk to kids about race and racism.


Looking for something new to read right now? The 2020 Lambda Literary Awards — or Lammy Awards — highlight the 25 best LGBTQ books this year, chosen from more than 160 finalists.

Quote of the day

"He was using our church as a backdrop and the Bible as a prop in ways that I found to be deeply offensive."

Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, on Trump's visit to St. John's Church after law enforcement violently pushed out a peaceful protest.

One hopeful thing

After a week of mushrooming protests and, in some cities, looting and violent clashes with police, the younger brother of George Floyd arrived Monday at the Minneapolis intersection where Floyd died and made a plea for peace.

"That’s not going to bring my brother back at all," Terrence Floyd said, referring to the violence some cities have seen.

"So let’s do this another way," he said. "Let’s stop thinking that our voice don’t matter and vote…because it’s a lot of us and we still going to do this peacefully."

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Thanks, Petra Cahill