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A letter from Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf presses Left-wing Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to accept federal assistance to help quell violence in his city that has gone on for months, or the Trump administration will have “no choice” but to act.
“I urge you to prioritize public safety and to request federal assistance to restore law and order in Portland,” Wolf wrote in the letter dated Aug. 31.
“We are standing by to support Portland. At the same time, President Trump has made it abundantly clear that there will come a point when state and local officials fail to protect its citizens from violence, the federal government will have no choice but to protect our American citizens,” the letter notes, Fox News reported.
It comes following another weekend of violence in the city, where a suspected Leftist anarchist associated with Antifa is being investigated for possible ties to the murder of a Patriot Prayer member on Saturday, the third death in recent weeks.
DHS noted further that as of July 31, local police had made 255 arrests tied to the continuous protests and declared a riot or unlawful assembly 23 times.
“Despite this, you have stood by passively, arguing that the nightly violence ‘will ultimately burn itself out.’ The evidence demonstrates otherwise,” Wolf continued in his letter.
Earlier this summer, in spite of Wheeler’s opposition, DHS dispatched teams of additional officers to Portland to protect a federal courthouse in the city that had come under siege night after night by rioters and, some argued, domestic terrorists who attempted to burn it down on a number of occasions.
Wolf’s letter comes a day after President Trump blasted Wheeler as a “fool” and strongly suggested that federal agents were going to be sent back to the city.
“He would like to blame me and the Federal Government for going in, but he hasn’t seen anything yet We have only been there with a small group to defend our U.S. Courthouse, because he couldn’t do it,” Trump noted in a tweet.
The letter also comes after Wheeler publicly rebuked the Trump administration’s latest offer of assistance.
“Dear President Trump: Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city. On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks,” he wrote.
In an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Monday, the president touched on a subject that other analysts have openly discussed in recent months as looting, riots, and unrest continued around the country for months following the George Floyd incident in May: That at least some of the violence was being funded by opponents of the administration.
Specifically, the president said he believes that supporters who were harassed as they left his Republican National Convention speech at the White House were financed by “some very stupid rich people.”
He added that he was told by an RNC attendee came to Washington “on a plane from a certain city, and in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that.”
Trump declined to identify his source but told Ingraham he would do so “sometime.”
“This person was coming to the Republican National Convention and there were like seven people in the plane [with] this person, and then a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage,” the president noted further. “This is all happening.”
He also said that “people you’ve never heard of, people in the dark shadows” were providing funding to create chaos.
“The money is coming from some very stupid rich people [who] have no idea that if their thing ever succeeded, which it won’t, they will be thrown to the wolves like you’ve never seen before,” he added.
Earlier this summer, Attorney General William Barr suggested that foreign actors may also be involved in exploiting protests over the Floyd incident to foment unrest.
“We have evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions, have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity,” Barr noted further. “We are also seeing foreign actors playing all sides to exacerbate the violence.”
As for Wolf, he told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Monday that he was working with Barr to figure out a way to charge Antifa and Black Lives Matter agitators who may be conspiring to incite riots and create other civil disorder.
“Why haven’t we seen the leaders of Antifa and BLM arrested and charged for conspiracy under, say, RICO, like the heads of the Mafia families were?” Carlson asked at one point in the interview.
After noting that DHS and the Justice Department are coordinating efforts, Wolf said that the administration is also investigating the heads of various Left-wing anarchist groups as well as those “paying for these individuals to move across the country.”
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