Protests of police brutality against Black Americans are in their second month in Portland, Oregon.
President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security deployed unidentified militarized federal agents to the city, where they began "proactively" arresting protestors, taking them to undisclosed locations in unmarked, non-government vehicles. They did so without correspondence or approval of local officials.
Trump intended for these police to restore so-called law and order to the area, but their presence only reinvigorated the protests and they've since increased in size and anger.
The President nevertheless praised the Department of Homeland Security's efforts, and continued his assertions that the presidency of 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden would mean "chaos and violence" in the streets.
A strategic advisor to the Trump campaign, Boris Epshteyn, echoed these assertions in a recent tweet.
This would be @JoeBiden’s America. It’s a very scary place. https://t.co/CokumE7uPG— Boris Epshteyn (@Boris Epshteyn)1595428685.0
Despite his claims that the situation in Portland "would be" Biden's America, Epshteyn conveniently failed to acknowledge that the unrest is currently unfolding on Donald Trump's watch.
Epshteyn attempted to clarify the tweet by saying that Portland is run by Democrats, and therefore supposedly an example of poor leadership on their part. He went on to say that, under Biden, this would be all of America.
That’s a video of what happens under liberal leadership, in this case in Portland - looting, rioting, and chaos. I… https://t.co/hC758r2rCA— Boris Epshteyn (@Boris Epshteyn)1595474977.0
People weren't buying his explanation.
This guy should google "who is president right now?" https://t.co/6kCuDqz2k2— Jeet Heer (@Jeet Heer)1595459572.0
@BorisEP @JoeBiden Isn’t this happening right now genius?— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@Rep. Eric Swalwell)1595463915.0
@BorisEP @JoeBiden You're "warning" people that this exact thing that's happening now, with Trump as president, is… https://t.co/52klTo7pa9— Sam Friedberg (@Sam Friedberg)1595487545.0
@BorisEP @JoeBiden This is Trump's America.— Stephen Fowler NOBLE CHAIR MUSIC DIRECTOR. (@Stephen Fowler NOBLE CHAIR MUSIC DIRECTOR.)1595471635.0
@BorisEP @JoeBiden Actually, that's Donald Trump's America. He caused this. The violence is his. The bloodshed is h… https://t.co/x1IucdwQ89— Scott Edelman (@Scott Edelman)1595511194.0
They disputed Epshteyn's portrayal of the events in Portland as well.
@orensoffer @BorisEP I just moved from Portland a week ago. None of what we see now was happening until the conmen… https://t.co/BEA9J4iNTx— Brian Ellis (@Brian Ellis)1595501967.0
@BorisEP they were defending themselves against what the current president sent out. So it’s still trumps America in that video— Sarah R (@Sarah R)1595475458.0
@BorisEP No, it's a video of what happens when pretend army guys attack and injure Americans, violate Constitutiona… https://t.co/DM0Z0lFsoM— Helena (@Helena)1595478658.0
Trump has since vowed to send similar troops to Chicago, where he says crime is out of hand. He's also contemplating sending the anonymous militarized officers to New York, Baltimore, Oakland, and other cities.
More and more people are starting to believe that Trump is creating chaos as an election strategy.
Beating a Navy veteran for asking Barr’s troops to remember their oath to the Constituion. This is what thrills the… https://t.co/op1JYbxxov— Rick Wilson (@Rick Wilson)1595249873.0
@BorisEP @JoeBiden I get it. Trump’s campaign strategy is to destroy America and then blame it on Joe Biden. 3D chess.— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD)1595464898.0
@BarbMcQuade nails it: "Why would Trump use the scarce resources of the federal government to respond to local prot… https://t.co/o8LkfQ75sK— Harry Litman (@Harry Litman)1595444644.0
Oregon's Attorney General has since sued the agencies spearheading the deployment.