PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Former President Donald Trump repeatedly called Portland a “burned down city” during a “Meet the Press” interview with NBC’s Kristen Welker, which aired on Sept. 17.
The comments came nearly an hour into the interview when Welker asked Trump if he would pardon Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and others imprisoned in relation to the January 6 U.S. Capitol attack, if he were reelected.
Following the question, Trump turned the discussion to the 2020 social justice protests seen in Portland and around the U.S. by asking: “How many people were charged for destroying Portland? How many people were charged for burning down the police precinct at the courthouse in Minneapolis?”
Hundreds of people were prosecuted for their involvement in Portland’s 2020 protests, previous KOIN 6 News coverage shows.
“You take a look at what’s gone on in Portland, they burned down the city,” Trump said. “The city is in shambles to this day. The store owners don’t even rebuild storefronts anymore, they put up two-by-fours.”
Welker continued to hold Trump to the original question during his discussion about Portland. Trump eventually responded to the original question, saying that he would consider pardoning Tarrio, who received a 22-year sentence on Sept. 5 for his part in the attack, and other January 6 rioters.
“I’d certainly look at it,” he said. “I’d look at that and I’d look at all the other people who have suffered — the J6 people.”
The former president then returned to his comparison between Portland and the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack.
“They didn’t do this to the people that burned down … you take a look at Portland,” he said. “It’s like a burned-down Hulk of a city, including the federal courthouse.”