Donald Trump has threatened to send the National Guard to Portland if the governor and mayor fail to eliminate what he says is a “hive of terrorists.”
Speaking at a White House press conference, the president said Portland was a disaster filled with professional agitators and anarchists, and that the National Guard would be dispatched if local authorities did not control the city in the next two days.
“The governor and the mayor, we’ve dealt with them, and we think they don’t know what they’re doing because it shouldn’t have lasted for 60 days,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s not our job to clean up towns, it’s supposed to be done by local law enforcement.”
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He said federal police officers would stay in Portland to see how local law enforcement is doing, and that if they don’t prevent control of the city, the federal government “will do it.”
“And we are saying that to these protesters, and many should be arrested because they are professional agitators, they are professional anarchists, these are people who hate our country,” Mr. Trump said.
“They are working today and probably tomorrow to clean up this hive of terrorists, and if they do, I will be very happy.” And then slowly, we can leave town. If they don’t, we’ll send the National Guard.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf and Oregon Governor Kate Brown yesterday announced a joint plan to end violence against federal law enforcement officials.
As part of the plan, Oregon State Police will “keep the peace” in downtown Portland while DHS will keep the city’s federal agents on standby to protect the federal courthouse from Hatfield if the violence continues unchecked.
“We will continue to keep law enforcement officers in the area to make sure this courthouse is secure at the end of the day,” Wolf said in an interview with Fox News.
“Over time, if the Oregon State Police and the plan that has been put in place are successful and we can responsibly draw law enforcement assets there, then we will. “
Mr Trump’s threat to send the National Guard comes after more than 60 consecutive nights of protests and riots.
In a statement, Oregon State Police (OSP) said special operations teams and uniformed soldiers would begin a two-week rotation in Portland on Thursday.
“OSP hopes to develop an atmosphere that allows the removal of the protective fence and restores some semblance of normalcy, while meeting community expectations and our obligations to protect federal property,” the statement said.