Portland Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler blamed President Donald Trump on Sunday for the violence in Portland after a right-wing protester was murdered last night. Wheeler’s attempt to deflect blame comes after he told Trump last week to “stay away” following the president offering federal assistance to end the violence in the city.
Wheeler lamented the fact that the president has been calling out the violence in Democratic-controlled cities, claiming that Trump was attacking the “very institutions of democracy that have served this nation well since its founding.”
“Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? It’s you who have created the hate and the division,” Wheeler claimed. “It’s you who have not found a way to say the names of black people killed by police officers, even as people in law enforcement have, and it’s you who claimed that white supremacists are good people.”
Wheeler’s claims were mostly false, as a study from the Pew Research Center found that the political polarization in the U.S. started during the Obama administration. The president has repeatedly tweeted about George Floyd, and the president never called white supremacists “good people.” In fact, the president has repeatedly condemned white supremacists (examples: here, here, and here).
“Your campaign of fear is as anti-Democratic as anything you’ve done to create hate and vitriol in our beautiful country. You’ve tried to divide us more than any other figure in modern history, and now you want me to stop the violence that you helped create,” Wheeler continued. “What America needs is for you to be stopped so that we can come back together as one America while recognizing that we must demand that all people—black, brown, white, every color from every political persuasion—pull together and hold all people accountable in stopping racism and violence, and we together are peaceful again under new leadership that reflects who we really are: We the people of this great nation.”
“President Trump, you bring no peace. You bring no respect to our democracy,” he added. “You, Mr. President, need to do your job as the leader of this nation, and I, Mr. President, will do my job as the mayor of this city.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler publicly refused federal aid from Trump to stop the rioting in his city and now he’s blaming Trump for the shooting of a Trump supporter in his streets. pic.twitter.com/9IAzVmIIpd
— Kelb Hull (@CalebJHull) August 30, 2020
“I’m saying … let’s end the violence. Let’s commit to that. Is that something we can all agree on, that we are done with the violence?” Wheeler continued, later adding, “I’m up to that challenge, and I hope the president is, too.”
Wheeler, despite repeatedly rejecting help from the Trump administration, claimed that he was “ready to reach across any aisles I need to reach across, any political divides that I need to cross, in order to bring us back together.”
Mayor Wheeler, who a day ago refused federal assistance from the Trump administration in a public letter:
"I’m ready to reach across any aisles, any political divides to bring us back together. Somebody’s got to do it." pic.twitter.com/EPcBb523BA
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 30, 2020
Wheeler later noted that Oregon Democratic Governor Kate Brown has repeatedly rejected sending in the National Guard to Portland, and then claimed that he was not sure what the government could do to stop the violence.
Portland's Democrat Mayor Ted Wheeler after he admits Oregon's Democrat Gov. Kate Brown refused the national guard: “I’m not sure how you specifically, operationally can prevent this”https://t.co/5HfJxGcuyU pic.twitter.com/LMRulcxOoC
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 30, 2020
Last week, Wheeler rejected Trump’s offer to send in the National Guard to Portland to help stop the violence after the Democratic-controlled city had seen well over 90 days of rioting and protests since May.
Wheeler said in a letter:
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.
We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection.
There is no place for looting, arson, or vandalism in our city. There is no room here for racist violence or those who wish to bring their ideology of hate into our community. Those who commit criminal acts will be apprehended and prosecuted under the law.
Tens of thousands of Portlanders have peacefully protested and marched for the noble cause of fixing our broken criminal justice system. They are part of the proud progressive tradition of Portlanders fighting for justice – from racial justice to economic justice to environmental justice.
When you sent the Feds to Portland last month, you made the situation far worse. Your offer to repeat that disaster is a cynical attempt to stoke fear and distract us from the real work of our city.
In Portland, we are focused on coming together as a community to solve the serious challenges we face due to systemic racism, a global pandemic and an economic recession.
Stay away, please.