It’s no secret that the Trump administration has sent federal officers into the riot-torn streets of Portland, Oregon, to help quell the civil unrest, a move that has inspired harsh criticism from libertarians and progressives alike. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, however, says that the Feds are a necessary presence in Portland due to the nature of the crimes being committed.
“They’re coming armed with rocks, bottles, baseball bats, power tools, commercial grade fireworks, eliciting that violence and targeting their violence on federal courthouses and federal law enforcement officers,” Wolf said on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“That’s very different than what’s going on in Chicago, places like Chicago, Albuquerque, Kansas City. That is where you see normal criminal activity, street crime, what we say regarding gangs and drug dealers,” he added.
As noted by Fox News, the Trump administration’s efforts to stem the riots have been met with resistance, with as many as 16 city mayors denouncing the tactics as un-American.
“The president is attacking progressive cities with troops who are unwelcome and unskilled,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said last week in a letter signed by 16 mayors. “Militarized agents are terrorizing the American people. We must stand together for peace and reform, and against these un-American tactics.”
Wolf, however, said that the Trump administration would not have to employ federal measures if local authorities actually did their jobs to quell the riots.
“We see city leadership there has fostered an environment that allows these criminals to do this throughout the night, untouched, absolutely untouched. It’s time for Portland to join other responsible cities around this country working with federal law enforcement to address this violence,” he said.
“We need Portland to step up to the plate, do their responsibility and work with us to address violent criminal activity occurring every night,” he added.
The recent surge of federal officers will likely include Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) officers, according to Fox News.
WATCH: Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf details the unhinged violence unfolding in Portland.
"They're coming armed with rocks, bottles, baseball bats, power tools, commercial-grade fireworks…targeting their violence on federal court house and federal law enforcement officers." pic.twitter.com/AUnQHtg651
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) July 26, 2020
Chad Wolf’s statements on Sunday was preceded by protesters descending on his home Saturday night to protest the federal presence in Portland and other U.S. cities. As The Daily Wire reported:
Protesters from “ShutDownDC,” the organization that followed Trump administration officials to local restaurants several years ago to protest a controversial family separation policy at the United States-Mexico border, organized a demonstration outside acting Department of Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf’s Virginia home Saturday night and Sunday, to protest the presence of federal officials in Portland.
“We visited Chad Wolf this morning to tell him to send his thugs home and to support our friends in Portland, at the border, and across the country @popmobpdx@pnwylfChad’s neighbors joined us — awkward!” the organization boasted on social media.
Democrat House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, however, has claimed that the riots in Portland are a “myth.”
“Do you disavow the violence from Antifa that’s happening in Portland right now?” journalist Austen Fletcher asked Nadler this weekend.
“That’s a myth that’s being spread only in Washington, D.C.,” Nadler responded.
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