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President Trump vowed that if Oregon officials don’t clear out the “beehive of terrorists” in Portland, he will step in and take care of business.
Trump warned the state’s Democratic leaders, including Governor Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, that he would again deploy the Army National Guard into Portland if the violent nightly rioting and protests that have besieged the city for two months continues.
(Source: The Oregonian)
The president addressed the federal response to ongoing attacks against federal property in the city during a press briefing at the White House on Thursday, just one day after the Department of Homeland Security and the governor had announced an agreement for federal officers to withdraw and for local law enforcement to step in and protect the federal courthouse at the center of riots.
Trump was asked by a reporter Thursday if he felt Oregon would be successful in quelling protests with the use of local police and whether he would consider re-deploying federal troops if violence continues.
“Homeland Security have done a fantastic job. They went to Oregon a little more than a week ago. The place was a mess. The city, Portland, was just a disaster,” the president said, calling out false media reports that portrayed the riots as just protests and not “anarchists and agitators.”
“They put a ring around the courthouse and saved it,” he said of federal agents deployed to Portland to protect the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse.
“The group that’s there is basically meant to save buildings, they were very strong, very powerful, and they didn’t come out too often out of this cocoon that they built in order to save these very expensive, valuable and psychologically important buildings,” Trump said.
“The Governor and the mayor, we’ve been dealing with them, and we think they don’t know what they’re doing because this should have not been going on for 60 days,” he continued.
“It is not our job and, unless in case of emergency which I consider now to be an emergency, it’s not our job to go in and clean out the cities. It’s supposed to be done by local law enforcement. Yesterday, the governor worked a deal where they’ll do it, and we’ll stand by, they’ll do it and that’s really good, but she didn’t report it that way,” Trump continued, referring to Brown misrepresenting the deal.
“What she reported was totally different. She said ‘I think Trump wants to take over the country.’ It’s crazy,” he said.
Brown and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf both released statements about the withdrawal of federal officers from Portland on Wednesday.
Feds agree to leave Portland; Governor Kate Brown gives them one last ‘kick’ on the way out https://t.co/FH4FQ8Gyhg
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 29, 2020
Portland’s Democrat Mayor Ted Wheeler, who was hit with tear gas when he joined demonstrators near the federal courthouse last week, had thumbed his nose at any offers of federal assistance to restore order in the city. Wheeler had declared earlier this month that he would “decline” to meet with DHS leaders even if he was invited but on Monday, he joined Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty to demand an “immediate” meeting in order to negotiate a “cease-fire.”
“Our people are staying there to see if they can do it today and tomorrow and if they don’t do it, we’ll send in the National Guard and we’ll take care of it,” Trump told reporters Thursday.
“We’re telling you right now these protesters, and many should be arrested because these are professional agitators. These are professional anarchists. These are people who hate our country,” he continued. “We’re telling them right now, we’re coming in very soon, the National Guard, a lot of people, a lot of very tough people and these aren’t people who are there to just guard the courthouse and save it. These are people who are allowed to go forward and do what they have to do.”
“They’re working today and probably tomorrow to clean out this beehive of terrorists, “the president added. “If they do it I’m going to be very happy, and then slowly we can start to leave the city. If they don’t do it, we’ll send in the National Guard.”
This news comes as a report indicates at least 130 federal agents are going to be staying behind in the besieged city of Portland to serve as a “quick reaction force” in the event local police need reinforcements to protect the federal courthouse that has been a frequent target of left-wing violence, vandalism and graffiti.
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