Multiple federal agencies swore for weeks that they didn’t use any chemical irritants to clear peaceful protesters from a D.C. park on June 1 so President Trump could have a photo op. Now, the Secret Service says it actually did. “After further review, the U.S. Secret Service has determined that an agency employee used pepper spray... in response to an assaultive individual,” the agency said Saturday in a statement.
Trump administration officials repeatedly insisted that tear gas was not used, despite witnesses reporting burning eyes, and despite CS tear gas canisters being found at the scene. U.S. Park Police initially said no tear gas was used but later admitted they had used pepper balls and smoke canisters—both of which fit the CDC’s definition of tear gas as a synthetic chemical irritant used for riot control.