Portland Mayor Rips Trump For ‘Abhorrent’ Use Of Federal Police To Quell Unrest

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – OCTOBER 10:  Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland, speaks during the American Cities Climate Challenge conference at the C40 World Mayors Summit on October 10, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Nine US mayor participated in thus presentation during the Summit. More than 70 mayors of some of the world’s largest and most influential cities representing some 700 million people meet in Copenhagen from October 9-12 for the C40 World Mayors Summit. The purpose with the summit in Copenhagen is to build a global coalition of leading cities, businesses and citizens that rallies around radical and ambitious climate action. Also youth leaders from the recent Climate Strike participate.  From the United Nations participate Secretary General Antonio Guterres who also meets the Danish Prime Minister and the Queen of Denmark during the Summit.  (Photo by Ole Jensen/Getty Images)
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK OCTOBER 10: Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland, speaks during the American Cities Climate Challenge conference at the C40 World Mayors Summit on October 10, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. More than 70... COPENHAGEN, DENMARK OCTOBER 10: Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland, speaks during the American Cities Climate Challenge conference at the C40 World Mayors Summit on October 10, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. More than 70 mayors of some of the worlds largest and most influential cities representing some 700 million people meet in Copenhagen from October 9-12 for the C40 World Mayors Summit, with the purpose to build a global coalition of leading cities, businesses and citizens that rallies around radical and ambitious climate action. (Photo by Ole Jensen/Getty Images) MORE LESS
|
July 19, 2020 1:30 p.m.

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler hit back at President Trump’s assertion that his administration is “trying to help” the city by deploying federal law enforcement officials in light of ongoing protests, during an interview on CNN Sunday morning.

Wheeler’s criticism of the Trump administration comes amid demonstrations in Portland against racial inequality and police brutality. Videos from recent protests show the Department of Homeland Security personnel arresting protesters and placing them in unmarked SUVs. On Friday, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D) and the American Civil Liberties Union sued federal agencies over DHS’ detention of protesters.

On Sunday morning, President Trump — who touted last month that he is the president of “law and order” as he pushed for an aggressive federal response to protests nationwide in the wake of George Floyd’s death — tweeted that his administration is “trying to help Portland, not hurt it.”

During an interview on CNN, Wheeler directly responded to Trump’s tweet earlier Sunday by arguing that the President “has a complete misunderstanding of cause and effect.”

“What’s happening here is, we have dozens, if not hundreds of federal troops descending upon our city. And what they’re doing is, they are sharply escalating the situation,” Wheeler said. “Their presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism. And it’s not helping the situation at all. They’re not wanted here. We haven’t asked them here. In fact, we want them to leave.”

Wheeler then characterized the Trump’s administration’s tactics in Portland as “abhorrent.”

“People are being literally scooped off the street into unmarked vans, rental cars, apparently. They are being denied probable cause. And they are denied due process,” Wheeler said. “They don’t even know who’s pulling them into the vans. The people aren’t identifying themselves. And, as far as I can see, this is completely unconstitutional.”

Watch Wheeler’s remarks below:

Later Sunday, three House committee chairs — Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) — called for an internal investigation of the Trump administration’s security crackdown in Portland in a letter to the inspectors general at the Justice Department and Homeland Security.

Support The TPM Journalism Fund
  • Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
  • Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30