‘I’m waiting’: Grassley calls Biden out for silence over ongoing riots in Portland, Seattle

Sen. Charles Grassley is calling out President Joe Biden for remaining silent as new rioting and violence erupted in Northwest cities including Portland and Seattle following his inauguration on Wednesday.

The Iowa Republican spoke out on Twitter after more than a dozen people were arrested between both cities Wednesday night after rioters targeted government buildings and one belonging to the Oregon Democratic Party in Portland during what were seen as anti-Biden protests.

But by Thursday evening, Fox News reported, Biden had not publicly commented on the riots.

In Portland, police said about 75 people marched to the Democratic Party HQ and began smashing windows, vandalizing, and spray-painting symbols and slogans.

Afterward, about 150 people targeted a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch in the city, where rioters vandalized it with anti-police and anti-Biden messages. Portland police eventually declared the assembly unlawful and used tear gas and pepper balls to disperse the crowds.

“I’m waiting for Pres Biden to condemn violence/looting/arson last two days in Oregon & Washington state,” Grassley tweeted on Thursday.

For Americans who may have believed a Biden presidency would lead to less violence in American cities, Wednesday’s rioting appears to have dashed those hopes.

Many protesters carried distinctly anti-Biden messages including “f**k Joe Biden” and “WE DON’T WANT BIDEN — WE WANT REVENGE.”

Another sign carried by rioters read: “We are ungovernable.”

Also absent thus far is any widespread Democratic condemnation of the tactics used against the rioters by police, though last year during very similar protests Democrats frequently blasted them and federal officers for deploying tear gas and rubber bullets, among other non-lethal force.

In July, left-leaning groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and Oregon’s Democratic attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, filed suit against the Trump Administration following the injury and arrests of violent protesters in Portland.

“I share the concerns of our state and local leaders – and our Oregon U.S. Senators and certain Congressional representatives – that the current escalation of fear and violence in downtown Portland is being driven by federal law enforcement tactics that are entirely unnecessary and out of character with the Oregon way. These tactics must stop,” she said.

“They not only make it impossible for people to assert their First Amendment rights to protest peacefully. They also create a more volatile situation on our streets,” she added.

The ACLU, meanwhile, said that federal officers were “deployed over the widespread objections of local leaders and community members, have been indiscriminately using tear gas, rubber bullets, and acoustic weapons against protesters, journalists, and legal observers.”

“This is a fight to save our democracy,” said Kelly Simon, interim legal director with the ACLU of Oregon. “Under the direction of the Trump administration, federal agents are terrorizing the community, risking lives, and brutally attacking protesters demonstrating against police brutality.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to federal agents and officers as “stormtroopers,” which critics said was a reference to certain units of German soldiers during the Nazi regime.

“Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti. These are not the actions of a democratic republic. @DHSgov’s actions in Portland undermine its mission. Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, Democrats blasted supporters of President Trump when they stormed the U.S. Capitol Building earlier this month, falsely claiming that the former president “incited” them to stage an “insurrection.”

Fox News host Laura Ingraham likened the very different responses to a “glaring and pathetic” double standard.

She also called Biden out as well.

“He never called the perpetrators a mob of thugs or domestic terrorists — and there were no calls by his media cheerleaders to bring the criminals to swift justice, use facial recognition. I don’t remember any of that,” she said a few days after the Capitol riot.

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Jon Dougherty

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