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Federal police make an arrest as they confront protesters in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Portland, Ore., on Sunday.

Democratic mayors in Portland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Kansas City and Albuquerque urged congressional leaders in a letter Monday to make it illegal for the federal government to deploy militarized federal agents to cities that oppose such action.

Driving the news: The Trump administration is looking at deploying more federal agents to Portland, Oregon, following unrest during protests over the weekend, according to multiple reports.

  • Federal agents "repeatedly fired what appeared to be tear gas, flash bangs and pepper balls at protesters outside the federal courthouse in downtown in Portland" early Monday after some activists "shot fireworks" and climbed a fence surrounding the building, AP reports.
  • Democratic mayors in Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Portland, Kansas City, and Washington, D.C., wrote a letter to congressional leaders and the Trump administration last week that accused federal agents of escalating violence against civilians.

What they're saying: In their letter, the mayors criticized the Trump administration for "authorizing the deployment of riot-gear clad forces" to cities including Washington, D.C., Portland, Seattle without local authorities' consent.

  • "This administration's egregious use of federal force on cities over the objections of local authorities should never happen," they added.

The other side: Axios has contacted the Trump administration for comment. President Trump tweeted Monday, "Homeland Security or Federal Forces are little involved in Seattle, other than we have a large standby team in case of emergency. The media is calling that one wrong also. In Portland, we are protecting Federal property, including the Courthouse, which wouldn't last a day!"

  • Attorney General Bill Barr will address the issue of federal agents in cities in opening remarks to the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, where he will refer to those involved in unrest during protests as "rioters" and tell lawmakers they should "condemn violence against federal officers and destruction of federal property."

Go deeper: Liberal cities resist as Trump stakes his re-election hopes on "law and order"

Go deeper

Trump's legacy is shaped by his narrow interests

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

President Trump's policy legacy is as much defined by what he's ignored as by what he's involved himself in.

The big picture: Over the past four years, Trump has interested himself in only a slim slice of the government he leads. Outside of trade, immigration, a personal war against the "Deep State" and the hot foreign policy issue of the moment, Trump has left many of his Cabinet secretaries to work without interruption, let alone direction.

30 mins ago - Health

Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific COVID vaccine

A health worker in Palestine preparing a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine on Jan. 24. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Tuesday that they have started clinical trials for a reformulated vaccine to protect against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Why it matters: The rise of the Omicron variant has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines.

Retail stock traders power stunning comeback after deep selloff

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Stocks staged a Patrick Mahomes-esque comeback Monday, after plunging for the first few hours of trading.

Why it matters: The remarkable recovery suggests that retail traders who upended markets over the last year — most notably during the GameStop bonanza that occurred almost exactly a year ago — continue to be powerful influence in the markets.

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