Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler responded on Sunday to President Trump’s tweets assaulting Democratic authorities in the wake of a deadly shooting Saturday night during clashes between Trump advocates and protesters, stating at a press conference, “I ‘d value that either the president support us or remain the hell out of the way.”
Why it matters: Trump has actually made Portland, which has actually seen more than 90 consecutive days of Black Lives Matter protests, a target for his claims that Democratic leadership is enabling violent rioters and antifa to overrun cities. Wheeler last week turned down Trump’s offer to send out federal police in the city to assist stop violent protests, leading the president to release a barrage of attacks on Twitter over the weekend.
What he’s stating: ” Do you seriously question, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? It’s you who have produced the hate and division,” Wheeler informed reporters.
- ” My response is as the president of the United States and somebody who has actually been perpetrating divisive and despiteful language for four years — for him to now stand here and state that it’s unanticipated and act as though he is surprised, is appalling to me.”
- ” The tweets that he has actually been putting out in the last 48 hours assaulting Democratic mayors, attacking those who are attempting to bring resolution to the violence in their local communities. He has a chance to boost us and bring us together and assist us move through this hard circumstance in our nation’s history.”
- ” And rather, he chooses to play minor politics and divide us. … I’m gon na do the work I require to do here in my regional neighborhood with my local officials to take responsibility for what’s happening in our streets, and I ‘d value that either the president support us or stay the hell out of the way.”
The big photo: Wheeler worried that he condemns any violence and that the service is offering an area for peaceful protests while addressing the systemic injustices that are underlying the discontent. He also said he’s not sure how something like Saturday night’s shooting death might have been prevented from a functional standpoint.
- ” Bear in mind, it’s clear to any person that I personally am not a Trump fan,” Wheeler stated. “However I will protect to the death the right of a Trump advocate to stand outside my apartment or condo and nonviolently show in support of their candidate.”
- ” When people say they want to enter into the city in a caravan supporting their governmental candidate, we can not tell them no,” he continued. “They have civil liberties to be here, rights which I welcome and support. The violence, however, is the problem.”