Donald Trump has rebuked Portland’s leadership for permitting protesters to run amok in the city, as the state government of Oregon spars with federal agencies over tactics being used to restore order.
“We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action,” the US president wrote on Twitter.
We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!
His remarks come just hours after a mob broke into the office of the Portland police union and caused a small fire to the building’s interior. Officers were able to extinguish the blaze and disperse the crowd.
As the animosity between law enforcement and protesters grows, city and state officials have seemingly taken the side of the protesters, condemning the presence of federal agents charged with protecting Portland’s federal courthouse.
Mayor Ted Wheeler banned federal officers from sharing headquarters with city police after personnel from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other agencies were accused of seizing and detaining protesters without probable cause.
Allegations that federal officers had “kidnapped” activists using unmarked vans prompted Oregon’s attorney general to file a lawsuit calling for an end to the alleged practice.
Governor Kate Brown and Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have also criticized federal agents operating in the city and have called for a probe into their tactics.
Trump’s comments echo similar sentiments expressed earlier by interim DHS chief Chad Wolf, who vowed after visiting Portland earlier this week that his agency would “never surrender to violent extremists.”
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