Trump sending more federal agents to Portland: report

The Trump administration is sending more federal agents to Portland, Ore., in response to further protests and demonstrations in front of a federal courthouse, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The U.S. Marshals Service decided last week to deploy 100 deputy marshals to the city to bolster the existing line of federal authorities outside the courthouse, according to an internal Marshals email reviewed by the Post. The deputies began arriving on Thursday.

Drew Wade, U.S. Marshals Service spokesperson, said in a statement Monday that the agency did not send 100 more deputies to Portland last week, saying it instead "took steps to identify up to 100 personnel to send to the District of Oregon in case they were needed to relieve or supplement deputies permanently stationed in the district."

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"They may also be used to rotate with personnel already sent there to support district operations during the civil unrest mission to insure the function and safety of judicial proceedings," Wade said.

Department of Homeland Security officials are weighing whether to send 50 other U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to Portland, but a decision has not been made, senior administration officials involved in the federal response told the Post.

U.S. Marshal Deputy Director Derrick Driscoll requested that Marshals officials send 100 deputy marshals to Portland in an email obtained by the Post, saying, “I am again in need of your help.”

“At this time we are unsure how long this assistance will continue,” he wrote, adding they are planning on relieving deputy marshals every three weeks.

In mid-July, there were 114 federal agents present in Portland, according to the Post.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return a request for comment.

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White House officials are expected to further discuss the deployment plans at a closed-door meeting on Monday, the newspaper reported.

People familiar with the discussions told the Post that the possibility of sending 50 new CBP agents arose out of a concern of more intense confrontations between demonstrators and authorities before the weekend.

Local officials have requested federal authorities leave the area, as have several Democrats who condemned the response by the Trump administration.

The group of marshals already sent to Portland mostly belong to the special operations group that has some training in managing riots and crowds, but the 100 being sent now rarely have that kind of training, law enforcement officials told the Post

The Trump administration has vowed to quell the Portland protests that have continued since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. Clashes between protesters and authorities have increased in recent weeks, garnering national attention and resulting in internal investigations into the federal authorities deployed there.

DHS officials told the Post that federal law enforcement officials are getting worried about the intensifying protests as some demonstrators have injured federal officers. Officials say they're concerned they’ll need more reinforcements to manage the crowd.

Updated at 5:09 p.m.