Trump watching ‘very closely’ as Portland braces for dueling protests

President Trump said Saturday that he was watching “very closely” as Portland, Ore., braces for dueling far-right and antifa protests planned for this weekend.

In a tweet, the president wrote that he was still considering declaring antifa, an anti-fascism group, a terrorist organization.

“Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!” Trump tweeted.

{mosads}Trump’s tweet came as Portland leaders plan a major law enforcement presence ahead of dueling demonstrations expected to take place Saturday. City officials said all of Portland’s 1,000 officers are set to work on Saturday.

Trump had previously threatened to designate antifa groups a terrorist organization late last month after a conservative journalist for Quillette said he was attacked amid rivaling protests in Portland in June.

“Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others). Would make it easier for police to do their job!” Trump tweeted in July.

USA Today reported that far-right groups, including members of white nationalist militia groups, have said they will travel to Portland for demonstrations on Saturday.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) told The Oregonian that he believes far-right groups organize in Portland, which is known for a left-leaning culture, because it guarantees that activists will respond to their events, generating news coverage.

“I think they come to Portland because it gives them a platform,” he said. “They know that if they come here conflict is almost guaranteed.”

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