Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) floated the theory to CNN on Monday that the reason for President Trump sending federal agents to cities experiencing civil unrest and rioting is so he can practice implementing martial law.
Durkan made it clear she does not want extra federal authorities in Seattle after the city experienced rioting over the weekend and placed blame for the unrest on Trump.
"We don’t need the help that the President's offering, and in fact, I think the President’s actions have directly escalated and are responsible for what happened this weekend," Durkan said. "Many who people were interviewed by media said they came to the protests because of what’s happening in Portland. The protest itself was billed as something in solidarity with Portland and so we’re today, I requested the Department of Homeland Security since there was no actions directed against the federal property to ask them to remove the stand by team that they have because I believe that it’s escalated things here in Seattle."
CNN host Erin Burnett pointed to how fires were started and businesses were destroyed in Seattle and asked if Trump is right when he says Democratic mayors are reluctant to stop the violence.
"No, again, the President's actions clearly have escalated things in Seattle and across the country. I was just talking to a number of mayors throughout the country who saw a similar thing that people wanting to act out against the President and his administration, coming to the streets. I believe if you look at what happened yesterday and Sunday again it was peaceful," Durkan replied. "We had a number of peaceful protests and what we’ve seen is every time this president promises to sew division he’s successful. He’s clearly targeted cities ran by Democratic mayors, he's said so himself. He's using law enforcement as a political tool. I hate to say it, Erin, but I really believe we’re seeing the dry run for martial law. This is a president that’s using law enforcement and federal forces for political purposes and that should be chilling to every American."
Durkan was reluctant to intervene during the early days of the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" or the "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest," saying it was just people exercising their right to protest and it could be a "summer of love." Seattle Police were eventually allowed to take back the area around the East Precinct after multiple crimes, including murder, were committed in and around the zone.