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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed in an interview Tuesday that she never referred to federal agents as “stormtroopers” despite using that specific term in a tweet last week criticizing the Trump administrations’ defense of a federal courthouse under siege in Portland, Ore.
During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Beat” with host Ari Melber, the California Democrat was asked to respond to an exchange between Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Attorney General William Barr, the latter of whom appeared before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
“And the stormtrooper comments by the Speaker of House, and we know that that is a direct reference to the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party… don’t you think it encourages the violence that we’re seeing and encourages the participation against the police?” Collins asked.
“I think that’s possible and I think it’s irresponsible to call these federal law enforcement officers stormtroopers,” Barr responded.
“Well, actually, I said they acted like stormtroopers,” Pelosi quickly said following the clip.
She went on to refer to associates of President Donald Trump as “henchmen” — a nefarious-sounding term she has used in the past, as well — while complaining about comments that others have made in reference to previous federal law enforcement actions involving some of those associates.
Pelosi then noted defiantly: “I said they acted like stormtroopers. And they did. And my colleagues have said that as well.”
The Speaker went on to say that while “some other people” do “disrupt” otherwise peaceful protests, “you don’t send in people acting like stormtroopers into the scene and evoking even more…unease and unrest.”
She then switched gears.
“He [Barr] should be answering for what he did at Lafayette Square, a disgrace,” she said, as Melber nodded in agreement.
“It was like a blob, it was like he…just a…a….henchman for the president of the United States instead of the attorney general of the United States,” she stammered.
In fact, Pelosi directly referred to federal agents as “stormtroopers.”
“Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti,” she tweeted earlier this month. “These are not the actions of a democratic republic. @DHSgov’s actions in Portland undermine its mission.”
First Amendment speech should never be met with one-sided violence from federal agents acting as Trump’s secret police, especially when unidentified. This is disgraceful behavior we would expect from a banana republic — not the government of the United States.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 18, 2020
She added: “First Amendment speech should never be met with one-sided violence from federal agents acting as Trump’s secret police, especially when unidentified. This is disgraceful behavior we would expect from a banana republic — not the government of the United States.”
The term ‘stormtroopers’ refers to paramilitary elements of the Nazi Party in pre-World War II Germany.
As for her claim that federal officers are the president’s “secret police,” agents and U.S. Marshals fighting nightly to defend a federal courthouse — a symbol of the American justice system — their uniforms are clearly marked, identifying who they represent.
Meanwhile, federal law enforcement officials announced last week that agents and officers have been instructed only to remove nametapes on their uniforms because dozens of them have been doxed by protesters, putting them and their families at risk of harm.
“We are going to convert their name [tags] to their badge number as about 38 of our officers that are out there have been doxed and their personal information has been put online,” Richard Cline, deputy director of operations for the Federal Protective Service, told reporters.
Other federal agency chiefs have instructed their officers to do the same.
“That’s another thing that’s absolutely disgusting,” CPB acting director Mark Morgan said last week during an interview with Fox News. “So they’re not only jeopardizing the lives of the agents, they’re also jeopardizing the lives of their families as they [are] putting out their home information and they’re suggesting that individuals go to their homes.
“So yes, as acting commissioner, I have authorized and supported removing their names from their uniforms,” he added.
Scores of police officers around the country as well as federal agents defending government property have been injured in the line of duty over the past several weeks, all victims of violent acts, not ‘peaceful protests.’
Some federal agents protecting a federal courthouse in Portland may have suffered permanent vision loss after being blasted by handheld lasers used by rioters.
The Speaker has yet to significantly address these and other injuries to federal agents and officers.
As to her ‘stormtrooper’ comment, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli suggested last week that federal agents should consider suing the Speaker for libel.
Totally lies. She outright called them Stormstroopers. A legitimate journalist would have que’d up her own tape and played it. Then she would have to do an even bigger dance. As she said, she is an organizer (agitator in other words).
— Steve Purkapile 🇺🇸 (@sspurkapile) July 29, 2020
SHE IS SO HORRIBLE UGH
— 💃 Performative Riot Focus Group💃 (@wakeywakey16) July 28, 2020
It absolutely astounds me how someone so ignorant and who lies so blatantly when we have her comments is still allowed to be in our government. I think she needs to take the cognitive test as well as Biden . They are both showing how lost they are . So sad
— Mutt (@Mutt64451057) July 29, 2020
Shame on you Madame. Your lack of leadership and courage is astonishing but at this point no longer surprising. Be better than this.
— Romahorse (@romahorse) July 28, 2020
Ok was it nauseating to see her do the little girl flirty act at 37 seconds. Omg I’m gonna vomit.
— IrishMomma34 (@irishmomma34) July 28, 2020
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