The United States’ top military officer has apologised for accompanying President Donald Trump on his controversial walk through Lafayette Square for a photo op last week.
Army General Mark Milley was photographed wearing his combat uniform as he followed Mr Trump through the park to a nearby church, where the president held up a Bible for photographers.
Moments before, authorities had used pepper spray and flash bangs to clear the park and streets of largely peaceful protesters.
“I should not have been there,” Milley said in remarks to a National Defense University commencement ceremony.
“My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics,” he added.
“As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.”
Milley said his presence and the photographs compromised his commitment to a military divorced from politics.
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