Right-wing media take advantage of local DC reporting to push lies that police did not tear gas peaceful protesters

A DC radio station repeated what Park Police told them; right-wing media ran with the lie, even though it was clear at the time that tear gas was used

On June 2, WTOP’s Neal Augenstein reported that the U.S. Park Police who forcefully cleared peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square the previous day before Trump visited a nearby church claimed that “tear gas was never used” on people, but instead it was a non-irritating “smoke canister.” Augenstein also said his source told him that police attacked the protesters because “officers were being pelted with water bottles,” which WMAL radio host (and a Daily Caller editor) Vince Coglianese amplified as fact. 

These reports were also spread by Fox News personalities like senior political analyst Brit Hume and prime-time host Laura Ingraham, as well as other right-wing media figures and the Trump campaign.

However, NBC correspondent Garrett Haake was actually on the scene at the time of the police attack. He responded to Augenstein, saying he witnessed the authorities launch an unprovoked attack, including the use of tear gas, on the crowd. Haake also reported live from the scene that, until the police attacked, there was only an "entirely peaceful protest. Not 90%, not 99%, but 100% peaceful. There was no throwing of water bottles. There was no throwing of objects.

Yahoo News White House correspondent Hunter Walker also posted video of the tear gas being used.

Augenstein later added on Twitter that this is only the “Park Police’s side of the story” and indicated that he is "trying to ascertain who did use" tear gas. Augenstein also reported that the U.S. Secret Service declined to comment on whether or not it had used tear gas on the protesters.