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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.”

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Assassination in Iran sets stage for tense final 50 days of Trump

The funeral ceremony in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via Getty

Iranian leaders are weighing their response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, who was given a state funeral Monday in Tehran.

The big picture: Iran has accused Israel of carrying out Friday’s attack, but senior leaders have suggested that they’ll choose patience over an immediate escalation that could play into the hands of the Israelis and the outgoing Trump administration.

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