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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) defended the use of federal law enforcement officers in Portland and compared violent protesters in the city to the "anarchists and insurrectionists" who seceded from the Union in the prelude to the Civil War.

The big picture: Cotton's comments comes after President Trump told reporters on Monday the administration would send more federal law enforcement into cities run by Democrats. The Arkansas senator previously sparked a controversy by calling for Trump in a New York Times op-ed to "send in the troops" to quell violent protests.

  • Media reports and videos shared on social media appeared to show that Department of Homeland Security officers were taking protesters into unmarked vehicles without explanation.
  • House Democrats and the U.S. attorney for Oregon have demanded inspector general investigations into the matter. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has called the reported actions of federal law enforcement "abhorrent" and "unconstitutional."

What he's saying: "These insurrectionists in the streets of Portland are little different from the insurrectionists who seceded from the Union in 1861 in South Carolina and tried to take over Fort Sumter," Cotton said on Fox News Tuesday.

  • "And just like President Lincoln wouldn't stand for that, the federal government today cannot stand for the vandalism, the fire bombing, or any attacks on federal property."
  • "It is right to send law enforcement in to defend federal property and federal facilities."

Go deeper: Six mayors accuse federal agents of escalating violence against civilians

Go deeper

Updated Oct 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The major police reforms enacted since George Floyd's death

Federal officers in Portland, Oregon on July 21. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Nationwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd's killing have put new pressure on states and cities to scale back the force that officers can use on civilians.

Why it matters: Police reforms of this scale have not taken place since the inception of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager.

NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.