Oregon senator: Trump deployed 'secret police' in Portland to provoke violence for campaign ads

Trump retweets claim Portland mayor is 'f***ing idiot' after man shot dead in night of protester clashes with MAGA supporters

President spends Sunday morning tweeting or retweeting over 90 messages after fatal shooting in Portland

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Monday 31 August 2020 08:21
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One person was shot and killed late on Saturday in Portland, Oregon, as a large caravan of supporters of president Donald Trump and protesters in support of racial justice clashed in the streets.

The clashes came just a day after Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, sent a letter to the president again declining his offer to send federal law enforcement to the city.

On Sunday morning in a stream of more than 90 tweets and retweets, the president retweeted a supporter who wrote: “Ted Wheeler is the useless f***ing idiot and comic relief that gets everyone killed in every disaster movie.”

Trump added: “Tone down the language, but TRUE!”

Portland has been the site of nightly protests for more than three months since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Many of them end in vandalism and violence, and hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested by local and federal law enforcement since late May.

The Associated Press reports that it wasn’t clear if the shooting was linked to fights that broke out as the pro-Trump caravan of about 600 vehicles was confronted by counter-demonstrators in the city’s downtown.

In the two hours following the shooting, protesters gathered downtown and there was sporadic fighting and vandalism, police stated. Some gave speeches in Lownsdale Square Park before the protest petered out. Ten people were arrested.

The pro-Trump caravan had arrived downtown just as a protest planned for Saturday was getting underway. This was the third Saturday in a row that Trump supporters have rallied in the city.

Mr Trump and other speakers at last week’s convention evoked a violent, dystopian future if Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden wins in November and pointed to Portland as a cautionary tale for what would be in store for Americans. Democrats have pointed out that the unrest is happening under his watch and have accused him of repeatedly trying to inflame the situation to help his re-election campaign.

Mayor Wheeler argues in his letter to the president that when federal law enforcement officers came to Portland in July they made the situation far worse.

The racial justice demonstrations usually target police buildings and federal buildings. Some protesters have called for reductions in police budgets while the city’s mayor and some in the Black community have decried the violence, saying it’s counterproductive.

Early on Saturday morning, fires set outside a police union building that is a frequent site for protests prompted police to declare a riot.

The commotion followed a sit-in in the lobby of the Portland mayor’s condominium building Friday night, which was also the subject of a number of the president’s retweets on Sunday morning.

With reporting from the Associated Press

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