Aug 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Wolf says "all options" on the table for ending violent protests in Portland

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told ABC's "This Week" that "all options continue to be on the table" in terms of sending federal law enforcement into Portland to quell violent protests.

Why it matters: Tensions in Portland reached new heights after a person was killed on Saturday night during clashes between protesters and Trump supporters. Wolf could not share more details on the incident because the investigation is ongoing, but he called on local officials to allow federal law enforcement to step in.

Between the lines: Protesters in Portland repeatedly clashed with federal law enforcement officials earlier this summer, when the Department of Homeland Security deployed agents to protect the city's federal courthouse before beginning to phase them out in late July.

  • On Friday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler sent President Trump a letter rejecting his offer of federal assistance.

What he's saying: "I do understand that there were a number of counterprotests and countergroups in Portland overnight, and I think this points to a larger issue that we have seen in Portland for the last three months," Wolf said. "And that is local and state officials not allowing law enforcement to do their job and really to bring this violent activity night after night after night to a close."

  • "So as you see that continue to unfold over the course of three months, you'll continue to see violent activity, and we've asked the governor, we've asked the mayor to step in. They don't have the resources."
  • "The president has been very clear on this as you know. We will be happy to provide resources to bring this violence to an end. Violence that, again, across the ideological spectrum, left or right. The violence needs to end."
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