Fox News reports acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Friday slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for what he called “dangerous” comments after the California Democrat dubbed federal law enforcement protecting federal property in Portland “stormtroopers.”
“One, it’s disgusting, two it’s an assault on every federal or civilian or state and local law enforcement officer who has taken an oath to protect their communities, to protect, in our case, federal facilities, to do their jobs and I think it’s very very dangerous,” Wolf said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
DHS had deployed federal law enforcement to protect federal property earlier this month after weeks of protests and riots in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Law enforcement officers have been attacked, doxed and possibly blinded by lasers wielded by rioters as they protect property such as the Hatfield federal courthouse.
But the Trump administration has faced criticism for its handling of the riots, with Democrats and others accusing it of excessive use of force. Both DHS and Justice Department inspectors general opened investigations into their agencies’ conduct on Thursday.
Pelosi has been a vocal critic of the federal response, accusing “unidentified” officers of “kidnapping” protesters (a claim DHS denies). On Thursday she again branded law enforcement as “stormtroopers.”
Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti.
These are not the actions of a democratic republic.@DHSgov’s actions in Portland undermine its mission.
Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 18, 2020
“The use of stormtroopers under the guise of law and order is a tactic that is not appropriate to our country in any way,” she said.
Wolf, in response, said the statement was “absurd” and law enforcement was enforcing laws passed by members of Congress, such as Pelosi.