DONALD TRUMP was moved to a secure underground bunker after protests outside the White House against the death of George Floyd turned violent.
In the wake of his death, footage emerged on social media of a police officer kneeling on Mr Floyd's throat who could be heard telling him: “I can’t breathe.”
The incident sparked protests in Minneapolis, where the arrest took place, and at over 30 cities across the US, including Washington DC.
Demonstrations have been held outside the White House for the past three days with protestors converging on the President’s official residence to demand answers.
While these protests have been largely peaceful demonstrations, clashes have erupted intermittently close to the perimeter of the White House itself.
According to the New York Times, the situation was deemed serious enough that “Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.”
The bunker has been designed to withstand the force of a passenger jet flying directly into the White House.
It was previously used by then-Vice President Dick Cheney during the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001.
The New York Times report says: “The president and his family were rattled by their experience on Friday night, according to several advisers.”
Mr. Trump has been a target for criticism after sending a series of inflammatory messages on social media in reaction to the protests.
Last week, Twitter was forced to censor one of the President’s tweets amid concerns he was “glorifying violence” with his use of the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) May 29, 2020
However, Trump continued to go on the offensive this past Friday, tweeting that protesters could have been attacked with “vicious dogs and ominous weapons” wielded by the US Secret Service,
He also criticised the mayor of DC for supposedly failing to provide police to protect the White House.
“They let the ‘protesters’ scream and rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them,” Trump wrote.
“If they had [breached the fence],” the president added “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least.”
The President has yet to address the nation on the topic of Mr. Floyd’s death.
While he has spoken to Mr. Floyd’s family, his brother, Philonise, told MSNBC: “He didn’t give me an opportunity to even speak.”
In the wake of the protests seen in the US, demonstrations were held in Dublin in solidarity with those witnessed across America.