President Donald Trump on Wednesday denied media reports that he was rushed for his safety to the White House bunker while protests raged in the streets outside.
"It was a false report," Trump told Fox News radio, before elaborating that he did go into the secure area but only for a "tiny, little, short period time."
According to The New York Times, quoting an unidentified source described as having direct knowledge, Secret Service bodyguards took Trump into the bunker on Friday night.
Outside in Lafayette Square, crowds of people protesting police brutality fought running battles with officers and set fires.
According to Fox News, Trump was taken to the bunker on Sunday.
Trump said he'd gone down but only during the day, not the night, as reported, and that he was partly doing so to carry out an "inspection."
"You go there, some day you may need it. You go there, I went down. I looked at it. It was during the day. It was not a problem," he said.
"I read about it, like a big thing. There was never a problem, we never had a problem, nobody ever came close to giving us a problem. The Secret Service does an unbelievable job of maintaining control of the White House," he said.
Reports of Trump taking shelter sparked a wave of online mockery, which is believed to have contributed to his decision on Monday to make a controversial walk across Lafayette Park to visit the partly damaged church of St John's.
Police violently dispersed mostly peaceful crowds of protesters to clear a path for Trump. To cap his show of strength, he stood outside the church for pictures of him holding up a Bible.