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Trump Trying to Provoke “Law & Order” Confrontations in Portland

As the President's reelection prospects deteriorate he uses the most politicized agencies of federal law enforcement to save his campaign in the streets.
PORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Police confront demonstrators as Black Lives Matter supporters demonstrate in Portland, Oregon on July 4, 2020 for the thirty-eighth day in a row at Portland's Justice Center and throughout P... PORTLAND, OREGON, USA: Police confront demonstrators as Black Lives Matter supporters demonstrate in Portland, Oregon on July 4, 2020 for the thirty-eighth day in a row at Portland's Justice Center and throughout Portland, with a riot declared about 12.20 am on July 5. CS tear gas and less-lethal weapons were used, and multiple arrests were made. (Photo by John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 17, 2020 5:33 p.m.

It seems increasingly clear that President Trump is trying to use the most politicized and violent agencies of federal law enforcement to provoke confrontations in American cities to push his ‘law and order’ campaign message. Zoë Richards gave us an overview this morning of what we know so far.

There are on-going protests in Portland focused especially around the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse and a faction of people committing low-level acts of vandalism tied to those protests. Local police say they are trying to separate the two groups. Tim Dickinson has a deep dive here in Rolling Stone on how this is proving difficult for a number of reasons, not least of which is deep-seated suspicion of the city police force in what is after all a very progressive city.

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