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Photo: Kevin Dietsch/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Monday denounced the Trump administration's use of federal agents against protesters in Portland, Oregon, saying, "We cannot give up liberty for security."

Why it matters: Paul's statement is the first pushback against the administration on the issue from a Republican lawmaker.

What he's saying: "We cannot give up liberty for security. Local law enforcement can and should be handling these situations in our cities but there is no place for federal troops or unidentified federal agents rounding people up at will," Paul tweeted, including a link to an article from conservative news site Hot Air that criticized "federal agents kitted out in military or paramilitary trappings."

The big picture: Top House Democrats called for a probe into the situation over the weekend, saying federal agencies "appear to have increasingly abused emergency authorities to justify the use of force against Americans exercising their right to peaceful assembly."

  • Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told NPR that Trump ordering DHS' involvement "is an effort — a last-gasp effort by a failed president with sagging polling data who's trying to look strong for his base."

The other side: President Trump and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf have defended the use of federal law enforcement, claiming that violent anarchists have overtaken the city and defaced federal property.

  • Trump continued that line while speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday, claiming the city was "totally out of control." He added, "In Portland, they've done a fantastic job. They've been there three days, and they really have done a fantastic job in very short period of time. No problem."

Go deeper

Trump appointee resigns over order removing job protections for some federal workers

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Federal Salary Council Chair Ron Sanders resigned on Monday over President Trump’s recent executive order that strips civil service protections for some federal workers.

Why he's saying: Sanders, who was appointed by Trump in 2017, said he could no longer work for the president as “a matter of conscience.”

21 mins ago - World

Explosions in Tel Aviv and Gaza as Israeli-Palestinian crisis escalates

Israel's Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepts a rocket fired from Gaza over southern Israel. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty

Tel Aviv — The Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups fired dozens of rockets from the Gaza Strip toward Tel Aviv and other cities in central Israel on Tuesday night, a new step in the current conflict that is likely to be followed by increased Israeli air strikes in Gaza.

Why it matters: The current crisis began in Jerusalem but has evolved into a military conflict across Israel and Gaza that remains on a path of escalation.

GOP Sen. Ben Sasse to introduce bill offering signing bonuses to new hires

Sen. Ben Sasse. Photo: Samuel Corum/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) plans to introduce legislation this week to grant signing bonuses to new hires, he announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The bonuses would replace expanded unemployment benefits and are aimed at boosting employment. Sasse called the numbers in the latest jobs report "crummy."

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