Oregon governor criticizes Trump for sending federal officers to Portland

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) lashed out at President Trump and acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf amid reports of federal officers detaining protesters in Portland, Ore.

“This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. The President is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government,” Brown tweeted Thursday after Wolf defended sending the forces, claiming that the city of Portland has been “under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob.”

Protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd earlier this year have rocked Portland’s downtown area for more than a month. Some of the demonstrations have led to damage of federal buildings, including the Hatfield Federal Courthouse.

Federal officers deployed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have occupied the courthouse and other nearby buildings for weeks. Some officers have reportedly worn unmarked military fatigues and driven unmarked vans.

Brown also demanded the federal government withdraw officers from Portland’s streets.

“I told Acting Secretary Wolf that the federal government should remove all federal officers from our streets. His response showed me he is on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes. He is putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm’s way,” she said in another tweet. 

“This, coming from the same President who used tear gas to clear out peaceful protesters in Washington, DC to engineer a photo opportunity,” she added. “Trump is looking for a confrontation in Oregon in the hopes of winning political points in Ohio or Iowa.” 

Trump walked to visit the historic St. John’s Church near the White House last month after protesters in Washington, D.C., were forcibly removed from the area by law enforcement officers firing an irritant.

Federal forces in Portland have used tear gas and nonlethal rounds to break up protests. Some demonstrators tried to make an autonomous zone across the street from the courthouse Wednesday, similar to the former area in Seattle.  

Brown is not the only Oregon lawmaker to blast the Trump administration over sending federal forces this month. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) said Tuesday that he told Wolf that “my biggest immediate concern is the violence federal officers brought to our streets in recent days, and the life-threatening tactics his agents use. We do not need or want their help.”

“The best thing they can do is stay inside their building, or leave Portland altogether. Our goal is to end these violent demonstrations quickly and safely. And in the meantime, I asked him to clean up the graffiti on local federal facilities,” Wheeler tweeted Tuesday.

Tags Chad Wolf Donald Trump George Floyd Oregon Portland

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