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Cotton Draws Comparison Between 1861 Insurrectionists and Portland's Anarchists

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Posted: Jul 21, 2020 3:30 PM
Cotton Draws Comparison Between 1861 Insurrectionists and Portland's Anarchists

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

What has been going on in Portland, Oregon, is not peaceful protest, unless hurling objects at police, burning federal buildings, starting street fires, and looting qualifies as such these days.

No, it's more like an insurrection, Sen. Tom Cotton argued Tuesday morning on Fox News, drawing comparisons to the Civil War.

"The federal government cannot allow anarchists and insurrectionists [to] destroy federal courthouses, federal buildings, or other federal property," he said. "These insurrectionists in the streets of Portland are little different from the insurrectionists who seceded from the Union in 1861 in South Carolina and tried to take over Fort Sumter."

Like President Lincoln, President Trump shouldn't allow it to happen," he said.

"And, just like President Lincoln wouldn't stand for that, the federal government today cannot stand for the vandalism, the firebombing, or any attacks on federal property," he said. "It is right to send federal law enforcement in to defend federal property and federal facilities."

Ted Wheeler, the leftwing mayor of Portland, has argued that the presence of federal law enforcement has "escalated the situation" in the city.

"The president has a complete misunderstanding of cause and effect," Wheeler said on Sunday. "What's happening here is we have dozens, if not hundreds of federal troops descending upon our city and what they're doing is they are sharply escalating the situation. Their presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism."

"[W]e want them to leave," he added, arguing the intervention is "a blatant abuse of police tactics by the federal government." 

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan called those comments "ridiculous."

"What we need is we need local leaders to stop saying ridiculous, irresponsible things, reach out to these protesters and get the police to work with us to go out and stop and arrest these criminals," he said Monday. "That's what has to be done, but they refuse to do it."