News and Commentary

Portland Mayor Sends Nasty, Mocking Letter Rejecting Trump’s Offer To Help

Rips Trump's “politics of division and demagoguery,” “reckless disregard for human life,” and “bumbling response to the COVID pandemic.”
Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland, speaks during the American Cities Climate Challenge conference at the C40 World Mayors Summit on October 10, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Ole Jensen/Getty Images

On Friday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, whose limp response to rioters in his city has enabled violence and rage for roughly three months, published a letter he had written to President Trump in which he rejected the president’s offer of federal law enforcement.

In the letter, Wheeler ripped into Trump’s alleged “politics of division and demagoguery,” “reckless disregard for human life,” “bumbling response to the COVID pandemic,” and concluded that Trump’s offer was “a cynical attempt to stoke fear and distract us from the real work of our city.”

The “real work” of the city of Portland, as performed by Wheeler, has reportedly included him texting a top aide and suggesting that Portland officials instruct the police to turn a blind eye to the rampaging demonstrations in his city.

The Daily Wire reported earlier this week:

A new report from Oregon Public Broadcasting appears to confirm earlier suspicions that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was considering ordering Portland police to “stand down” in the face of unrest and riots damaging the city’s downtown, leaving landmarks exposed to violence and destruction.

OPB reports that, in “late July,” as the protests were entering their second month and suspected anarchists were ramping up attacks on the city’s federal courthouse, Wheeler texted a top aide and suggested that Portland officials instruct the police to turn a blind eye to the demonstrations, thinking it would de-escalate the violence.

“In late July, Mayor Ted Wheeler had an idea he hoped would end the nightly clashes between protesters and police in Portland. He texted Sonia Schmanski, a top aide, that he had a plan that was ‘high risk,’ but he added that the city had ‘nothing to lose,'” according to OPB. “His idea: Tell his police force to stand down from the demonstrations.”

“It was a move protesters had urged for months, arguing that police decked in riot gear needlessly raised the tensions of the nightly protests. Wheeler told OPB he, too, had noticed a ‘calming deescalating effect’ on nights when police stayed out of sight,” the outlet noted.

Although OPB does not give a timeline for Wheeler’s decision, based on the outlet’s reporting, it appears to have come after the Department of Homeland Security pulled its elite Customs and Border Protection Agency force from downtown Portland, turning over the responsibility for protecting federal buildings and landmarks to the Oregon State Police and Portland Police Department.

The text of Wheeler’s vitriolic letter to President Trump is below:

Dear President Trump:

Yet again, 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 on to 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 and 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.

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