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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has apparently reversed course and is now demanding an “immediate” meeting with Department of Homeland Security officials.
The Democrat mayor joined Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty to request the meeting in order to negotiate a “cease-fire” even though just two weeks ago he thumbed his nose at any offers of federal assistance to restore order in the city besieged by protests and rioting for over 50 consecutive days.
Wheeler had declared earlier this month that he would “decline” to meet with DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf even if he was invited.
A number of people have asked if I know DHS leadership is in town, and if I’m going to meet with them. We’re aware that they’re here. We wish they weren’t. We haven’t been invited to meet with them, and if we were , we would decline.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 16, 2020
In a phone conversation with Wolf just two weeks ago, the Democrat demanded that federal agents “stay inside” or “leave” the city. He also reportedly added a jab at Wolf to clean up graffiti on federal buildings left by rioters that Portland’s officials refused to control.
“I told the Acting Secretary that my biggest immediate concern is the violence federal officers brought to our streets in recent days, and the life-threatening tactics his agents use. We do not need or want their help,” he related in a tweet.
While continuing to blame President Trump for the mess his city is in, Wheeler made an abrupt turn on Tuesday and issued his request for a meeting with DHS officials.
“Commissioner @JoAnnPDX and I are calling for an immediate meeting with Department of Homeland Security leadership on the ground in Portland and with Acting Secretary @DHS_Wolf to discuss a cease-fire and the removal of heightened federal forces from Portland,” Wheeler tweeted.
Portland is in a state of armed insurrection. Time for U.S. troops to restore order by any means necessary.
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) July 28, 2020
A spokesperson for the mayor’s office responded to a question about the reason for Wheeler’s change of mind.
“He wants to put an end to the violence and destruction,” the spokesperson told Oregon Live.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 28, 2020
Hardesty, who oversees Portland’s fire, 911 and emergency preparedness agencies, has criticized Wheeler, who is the police commissioner. In a statement last week, she told him: “If you can’t control the police, give me the Portland Police Bureau.”
Last week, the city passed a new policy banning all police bureau members from cooperating with federal law enforcement.
Wheeler’s request to meet with DHS leadership comes as the president has reportedly ordered an additional 100 federal officers to the Oregon city to protect federal buildings. Loaded rifle magazines and Molotov cocktails were recovered by the Portland Police Bureau as protests and riots have continued on a nightly basis.
AP reporter embedded with feds in Portland recounts officers’ fear and injuries in terrifying nightly riots https://t.co/QXxRNmRonE
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 27, 2020
Federal officers have been working to protect buildings and the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse which has essentially been the epicenter of rioting.
“All I need is the City of Portland to step up and do their job,” Wolf said during an interview Sunday on Fox News. “These individuals are on city streets, they’re in city parks arming themselves every night and the city simply does nothing about it. Absolutely nothing.”
Meanwhile, Wheeler’s 180-turn on meeting with Wolf and others was slammed on social media.
After pre-emptively declaring he’d refuse to meet w/federal officials, Mayor Wheeler has suddenly reversed course & is now demanding a meeting w/@DHS_Wolf to discuss a “cease-fire.” Even Wheeler seems to recognize that his city has insurgents who have declared war on US gov. https://t.co/TWuVKFXnwH pic.twitter.com/AqRzq1Ueq5
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 28, 2020
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) July 28, 2020
You ain’t running anything bro it’s federal property
Chad🐺 territory now https://t.co/ZdSIuu1gOd
— Factotum Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 28, 2020
Just that determined to see the city you run destroyed, are you?
God you suck.
— Add your name (@corrcomm) July 28, 2020
This fool thinks he’s in charge. Clearly he’s a puppet leader. https://t.co/GsvttUxrB9
— Julie H Wright✝️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Text TRUMP to 88022 (@juliew38138) July 28, 2020
The mayor of Portland wants to negotiate a cease fire between his terrorist insurgents and the federal government.
Isn’t that special? https://t.co/D6KOP4GHrR
— Mary Grace™ 🇺🇸*American* (@MaryGraceMedia) July 28, 2020
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