Despite pushback from Oregon officials that federal intervention is not needed to quell the violence in Portland that has left stores burned, statues toppled and property defaced, President Donald Trump on Monday said he has no plans to stop sending federal agents into America’s cities.
The Protecting American Communities Task Force, which was created in late June by the Department of Homeland Security in response to an executive order to protect federal property, was deployed to Portland last week and has detained demonstrators.
On Friday, a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said CBP agents were sent to Portland to support DHS in its PACT mission, Reuters reported. In response, Oregon has sued the federal government to end the DHS intervention.
Reuters reported in a second article that DHS has no plans to back down or apologize for its actions.
At the White House on Monday, Trump was asked about sending federal troops to cities such as Portland.
“It depends on what your definition of troops is. We’re sending law enforcement,” Trump said.
“Portland was totally out of control. The Democrats, the liberal Democrats running the place had no idea what they were doing. They were ripping down for 51 days, ripping down that city, destroying the city, looting it. The level of corruption and what was going on there is incredible,” he added.
Trump had little but scorn for Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who was among the many Oregon Democrats criticizing the use of federal agents in Portland.
“Then the governor comes out, ‘We don’t need any help,'” the president said.
Trump said that rather than restrict the use of federal agents he may use more agents in more cities.
“How about Chicago? I read the numbers were many people killed over the weekend. We’re looking at Chicago too. We’re looking at New York. Look at what’s going on. All run by Democrats, all run by very liberal Democrats, all run really by radical left. But we can’t let this happen to the cities,” he said.
Trump, who made his business fortune in New York City, lamented the rise in crime in New York state.
“New York was up 348 percent, the crime rate, so the governor has to do something about it. And if the governor’s not going to do something about it, we’ll do something about it,” he said.
Trump said the police “are afraid to do anything. I know New York very well. I know the police very well, New York’s finest. And the fact is, they’re restricted from doing anything. They can’t do anything,” he continued.
The president was then asked what he plans to do.
“Well, I’m going to do something; that I can tell you. Because we’re not going to let New York and Chicago and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore and all of these, Oakland is a mess, we’re not going to let this happen in our country — all run by liberal Democrats,” he replied.
Trump said agents in Portland “have done a fantastic job in a very short period of time. No problem. They grab them, a lot of people in jail. Their leaders, these are anarchists, these are not protesters. People say protesters — these people are anarchists. These are people that hate our country and we’re not going to let it go forward.”
He added that fear has paralyzed the local response to the unrest in Portland.
“And I’ll tell you what, the governor and the mayor and the senators out there, they’re afraid of these people. That’s the reason they don’t want us to help them. They’re afraid. I really believe they’re actually, maybe even physically afraid of these people because what they’re doing is incredible,” he said.
Trump noted that the federal government did not intervene when protests began in May.
“We didn’t just go there. This wasn’t like it started right away. We went there after 51 days. We said, ‘We can’t let that happen anymore,’ but these are anarchists,” he said.
“And the politicians out there, yes they’re weak, but they’re afraid of these people. They’re actually afraid of these people. And that’s why they say, ‘We don’t want the federal government helping.'”
Trump said the condition of cities such as Chicago “is worse than Afghanistan by far. This is worse than anything anyone’s ever seen. All run by the same liberal Democrats.”
“And you know what? If Biden got in, that would be true for the country. The whole country would go to hell and we’re not going to let it go to hell,” he said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.