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Democrats in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday failed to win passage of a resolution condemning President Donald Trump for his role in the use of force against peaceful demonstrators in Washington Monday night, after Republicans blocked the move.

Asked if the President should have gone to the church for a photo-op that led to tear gas and other measures to be used on the protesters, Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the GOP leadership team, criticized the media and others who are “never going to find any good or any positive development in anything. So, you can characterize it the way you want, but obviously the President is free to go where he wants and to hold up a Bible if he wants,” calling it a “civil message.”

“We expect leadership from our President and particularly in times like this,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, the most senior Republican in the Senate, said Tuesday. “And I think that when there was destruction to a church or any other historical thing that America would put great confidence in that should not be destroyed, I think a president ought to bring attention to that terrorist activity, and go there and do what he did last night.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was asked if he had any issues with the use of tear gas against the protesters on Monday evening. “No, given what we’ve seen the last few nights in front of the White House, incredibly dangerous and violent situations.” 

Rubio, a Florida Republican, also disputed the assertion that the protesters were cleared out for the Trump photo-op in front of the church, noting that the 7 p.m. ET curfew was drawing near.  Rubio said the protesters were “professional agitators.” 

Democrats tried to use fast-track procedures to pass the measure by a unanimous voice vote but were stopped when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, objected.

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