As President Trump sees it, sending in federal agents to Portland, OR to help quell the violence that has been going on for 60 days now makes the mayor's job and the governor's job "a lot easier." Of course that's not how they see it. In fact on every TV hit they can get, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Gov. Kate Brown have condemned the presence of federal officers on their streets.
Despite the leaders' insistence that these are "peaceful protesters" being bullied by federal troops, the president explained that Portland is being overrun by a "beehive of terrorists." And if they're not able to put an end to it soon, he'll be sending in the National Guard.
"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 warned at the White House on Thursday. "We're telling you right now these protestors, and many should be arrested because these are professional agitators. These are professional anarchists. These are people who hate our country. We're telling them right now, we're coming in very soon."
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, who this week announced that the agency finally came up with a plan with Portland police and the mayor, told "Fox & Friends" on Friday that the teamwork worked "fairly well" Thursday night, as a contingent of Oregon state troopers moved in with Portland police to clean out the parks across the street from the courthouse.
There was a key lesson here.
"If you work with federal, state and local law enforcement...we can protect our communities," he said.
However, he added that it may be too little, too late. Around 240 DHS law enforcement officers have been injured over the course of 60 days of protests. A few agents were even blinded by lasers. So, when Mayor Wheeler claimed that the federal officers were abusing their power and willingly using CS gas a riot control agent, on "peaceful" demonstrators, Wolf had to correct him.
The mayor, Wolf said, is "completely inaccurate" and "he knows it to be inaccurate." Mayor Wheeler, Wolf continued, is "not telling you the truth about what occurs in Portland between midnight and 5 a.m." It's during that time that rioters have been attacking the agents and trying to light the federal courthouse on fire.
"It is violent, violent criminals and other violent opportunists that are attacking that courthouse...There are no peaceful protests going on at 3:30 and 4 a.m. in the morning," he explained.
The mayor is "intentionally confusing issues," Wolf added.
Wolf said the DHS agents are "remaining" in Portland until they are convinced that their plan is working.
Here were just a few of the items recovered by Portland Police during Thursday night's "peaceful" protest.
A sledge hammer, improvised weapons, leaf blowers, helmets, chest and leg armor, and fuel canister are some of the items recovered in Chapman and Lownsdale Squares this morning. pic.twitter.com/QXnppztBU6— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 30, 2020