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Trump administration, Oregon governor's office talking about removing agents from Portland: report

The Trump administration is in early talks with the Oregon governor's office to remove federal officers from Portland that have been in the city since late June to protect its federal courthouse, which has become a focal point for Black Lives Matter protests, a senior White House official told The Associated Press.

The official underlined to the AP that talks had just begun and no agreement was in place. 

The report come a day after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Marshals Service said they were both contemplating sending more agents to assist the officers already on the ground in Portland.

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Protesters and agents once again clashed Tuesday night, with agents using tear gas to disperse the crowds and demonstrators setting off fireworks near the courthouse.

Demonstrations have been happening near the courthouse since George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed in Minneapolis police custody at the end of May. Protests have often escalated, leading to the courthouse being damaged. 

The damage to the courthouse is what prompted acting DHS Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfBiden picks first Latino to lead Homeland Security Republican senators urge Trump to label West Bank goods as 'Made in Israel' Judge says acting DHS secretary appointment unlawful, invalidates DACA suspension MORE to send in federal officers. However, the presence of the officers has not quelled the ferocity of the demonstrations, but rather the opposite.

On Monday, Billy Williams — the U.S. attorney for the district of Oregon — said that the federal agents would be in Portland as long as they needed to be.

“It is not a solution to tell federal officers to leave when there continues to be attacks on federal property and personnel. We are not leaving the building unprotected to be destroyed by people intent on doing so,” Williams said.

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The same day, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) and Oregon Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownOregon governor urges hosts to 'uninvite' guests Say 'no thanks' to Thanksgiving mandates The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Dems push McConnell on COVID-19 relief; Grassley contracts COVID-19 MORE (D) requested to meet with Wolf with the intent of brokering a “cease-fire and removal of heightened federal forces from Portland.”

Despite the reported talks, President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE praised the work of the federal officers on Tuesday.

“We, as you know, have done an excellent job of watching over Portland and watching our courthouse where they wanted to burn it down, they’re anarchists, nothing short of anarchist agitators,” Trump said Tuesday. “And we have protected it very powerfully. And if we didn’t go there, I will tell you, you wouldn’t have a courthouse. You’d have a billion-dollar burned-out building.”