In the wake of a fatal shooting during protests in Portland, top Trump officials indicated Sunday they want to send federal forces to the beleaguered city.
Acting Homeland Security Security Secretary Chad Wolf said “all options continue to be on the table” for the administration’s response to the Portland unrest, which reached new heights on Saturday when a person was fatally shot as Trump supporters confronted pro-Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
“When we talk about Portland, again, they continue to refuse … any type of federal assistance,” Wolf said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The citizens of Portland want this … If the state and local officials won’t do it, they need to ask for assistance from the federal government.”
Earlier this summer, President Trump deployed federal agents to Seattle to crack down on anti-police-violence protesters. An outcry from local leaders prompted the forces to be withdrawn at the end of July.
Last week, Trump sent federal agents to Kenosha, Wis., where protests broke out following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man.
The president has been ramping up his anti-protester rhetoric, making it a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.
“If the Democrat Party wants to stand with anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters and flag burners, that is up to them. But I as your president will not be part of it,” he said at his Thursday speech accepting the Republican Party’s nomination.
On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said, “The president believes what we need to do is make sure that we have exactly what resources are available for every single city.
“If you’re having a problem — governors, we want to make sure that we can help you with that,” he added on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, raising fears his presence will increase tensions.
“I don’t know how given any of the previous statements that the president made that he intends to come here to be helpful,” Wisconsin’s Lt. Gov. Mandela Barne told CNN on Sunday. “And we absolutely don’t need that right now.”
Nevertheless, the president showed no signs of backing down over the weekend.
“ANTIFA is a Radical Left group that only wants bad things for our Country. They are supported by $FOOLS!” he raved in a Sunday tweet.
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