Under pressure to relax his scorched-earth approach to civil unrest, President Donald Trump is doing the opposite.
“We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it,” Trump tweeted Sunday, according to the Daily Wire. “Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!”
Violence in Portland
As the Daily Wire noted, Portland has been the site of ongoing anti-racism protests that have seen flare-ups of rioting and arson. Last week, Trump sent officers with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) into the city under a June order to crack down on the chaos and protect federal property. Mobs in Portland have threatened a federal courthouse and in at least one instance set a fire there, as CBS News reported.
Despite the destruction, reports of demonstrators being taken into unmarked cars by DHS forces and dispersed with tear gas sparked outrage and lawsuits from Oregon Democrats, national Dems, and civil libertarian groups.
“Not only do I believe he is breaking the law, but he is also endangering the lives of Portlanders,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted, according to Reuters.
“We’re sending law enforcement”
But Trump, under pressure from Republican voters to take control of unrest that has spiraled out of control, is not letting up — even as a media maelstrom continues to build.
According to Reuters, Trump promised Monday to up the ante by sending more troops into Democrat-run cities like Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, and Oakland, which he has assailed as hotbeds of chaos led by “weak” officials.
“We’re sending law enforcement,” Trump said at the White House, according to Reuters. “We can’t let this happen to the cities.”
A look ahead
The move comes as Trump has been eager to highlight arrests of vandals and rioters, and as he sustains criticism from some supporters for not doing enough to end the chaos ripping America apart. At the same time, Trump has been routinely criticized by liberals for seeking to suppress violence, and the swift condemnation that followed events in Portland was to be expected after a single tear gas incident outside the White House in June led to weeks of intense press scrutiny.
All the while, Trump and his supporters have learned that crime, when committed in the name of social justice, is no crime at all to the mobs and the media, and the Democrats who support them.
If Dems won’t restore law and order in their cities, then Trump will have to step in and do it for them.