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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.”

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She co-opted a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framed the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.

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