Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was most outraged when a reporter asked the Democrat if the months-long rioting in his city “set the stage” for violence at the U.S. Capitol last week.
Portland has seen months of violent riots perpetrated by left-wing protesters, most identifying as “anti-fascist” or Antifa, since Memorial Day weekend. Wheeler has been criticized for his weak response to the rioters’ violence and for allowing Antifa to take over parts of the city. In fact, the Democrat even joined an Antifa protest in July, though he was booed by the demonstrators and met with chants calling for his resignation.
KATU2 News reporter Genevieve Reaume on Tuesday highlighted such violent rioting during a one-on-one interview with Wheeler, before asking the mayor if protesters’ claims that permitting the violence “set the stage” for violence elsewhere, including “on a national level.”
“Last week, we watched as pro-Trump supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol; the insurrection was unlike anything this country has ever seen,” Reaume said to Wheeler. “But just three weeks ago, protesters broke into the Oregon State Capitol. I have heard people at these protests elsewhere saying, ‘Well, they let it happen in Portland, so why not do it here?'”
“It seems, in some way, the actions of these small groups (of protesters) that you’re referring to, have set the stage for what has happened on a state level, and potentially a national level.”
“I know you have said it will take time to crack down on these groups, but do we have that time?” Reaume asked.
“Are you blaming me for what happened at the U.S. Capitol,” Wheeler asked while cocking his head in ostensible disbelief. “I don’t buy that premise, at all.”
“No, not at all, Mayor Wheeler, what I’m saying is, what I’ve heard at the protest is people say, well, we’ve seen this riotous behavior in Portland, so why not do it elsewhere, like in Salem,” Reaume responded, while Wheeler could be viewed laughing.
“It doesn’t make it right,” Wheeler answered. “Nobody gets to point to somebody else breaking the law and say, they broke the law, therefore I can break the law. That’s not how it works. We’re adults here.”
Cutting from her interview, Reaume added, “Wheeler went on to say that everybody, including himself, needs to denounce this type of violence.”
“Everybody needs to say, ‘Look I don’t care if you’re on the political left or the political right, if you’re engaged in acts of violence or criminal destruction that is unacceptable,'” Wheeler reportedly said.
Today we had a one-on-one interview with Mayor @tedwheeler. We discussed his plan to hold the people who've damaged this city accountable plus if Portland riots had any impact on a national level.
— Genevieve Reaume (@GenevieveReaume) January 13, 2021
“Sixteen days before the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and nearly 2,900 miles away, an eerily similar incident occurred at the Oregon Capitol when 50 protesters breached the building — where lawmakers were working — and clashed with law enforcement,” ABC News reported Wednesday.
As noted by Reaume, both incidents were preceded by months-long violence in Portland, and of course, violence perpetrated by the left in a number of other Democrat-run cities.
“For more than 100 days, the city of Portland saw nightly unrest,” reported KATU2 News. “Many protests devolved into unlawful assemblies and riots. Anarchists broke into buildings. Rioters smashed business windows and set fires in the streets. Mayor Wheeler says the criminal groups act similar to a ‘flash mob.'”
President Donald Trump, defending his speech on Wednesday, cited Portland and Seattle.
“If you read my speech … people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” he said. “And if you look at what other people have said, politicians, at a high level, about the riots during the summer — the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle, and various other places — that was a real problem.”
Portland mayor @tedwheeler is offended when KATU reporter @GenevieveReaume asks the obvious: Did Portland's tolerance of months of riots help provide a new normal that political violence against government property is okay? #antifa pic.twitter.com/mC23qPS47P
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) January 13, 2021
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