Trump defends deploying federal officers to Portland, says city “lost control of the anarchists”

Sunday morning, President Trump tweeted:

We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators.

They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!

Per Insider, in the tweet, Trump echoed a statement from Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf issued July 16 that claimed the federal deployment was a response to the city that was “under siege” by “a violent mob while local political leaders refuse to restore order to protect their city.”

The statement details violent clashes between demonstrators and authorities that occurred between May 29 and July 15, referring to “violent anarchists” 72 times, Insider’s Charles Davis reported.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler pushed back against Trump’s explanation on Sunday, NBC News reported, saying that the additional authorities were “escalating an already dangerous situation.”

“This could happen in your city,” Wheeler said. “What we’re seeing is a blatant abuse of police tactics by the federal government, by a Trump administration that’s falling in the polls. And this is a direct threat to our democracy.”