Friday, 18 Sep 2020

Trump tells Oregon officials to ‘finally’ call in National Guard as protests rage on

President Trump on Monday warned officials in Oregon to call on the National Guard to quell unrest in Portland or they will be “held responsible.”

“Portland, which is out of control, should finally, after almost 3 months, bring in the National Guard. The Mayor and Governor are putting people’s lives at risk. They will be held responsible,” Trump posted on Twitter. “The Guard is ready to act immediately. The Courthouse is secured by Homeland!”

Protests in the Pacific Northwest city have been taking place since George Floyd was killed while in Minneapolis police custody in May.

The demonstrations — smaller but more violent — continued over the weekend as rioters set fires outside a police union building and lobbed fireworks at police officers, injuring at least two.

The protesters also blocked a road and set dumpsters ablaze.

The Trump administration sent federal agents to Portland to protect federal facilities after rioters moved in on the courthouse.

But the agents began pulling out at the end of July in an effort to ease tensions after weeks of unrest.

At the White House briefing Monday, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany noted how Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler changed his tune from expressing solidarity with the protesters last month to condemning the violence last week as an act of “attempted murder” after rioters set fire to a police building and blocked the exits.

“He could not be more right. That it is a drastic change. It took him 73 days, I suppose, to come up with that realization,” she said.

“And what we’re seeing in Portland — with six nights in a row riots being declared. On Wednesday, you had some of these rioters shining lasers in officers’ eyes, disabled security cameras, broke windows, used boards to barricade the doors and start a fire with 20 sworn officers and civilian employees inside. This is unacceptable and it’s encouraging to see that the liberal mayor of Portland finally seems to realize that,” McEnany continued.

Trump accused Wheeler over the weekend of allowing “anarchists” and “mobs” to take over the streets.

“Mayor Wheeler has abdicated his duty and surrendered his city to the mob,” the president told reporters at his New Jersey golf resort.

With Post wires

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