PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — During the first presidential debate Tuesday night, President Trump claimed to have the support of “Portland’s sheriff.” The city doesn’t have a sheriff — but the Multnomah County sheriff is making his own position on the matter very clear.
Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden traded barbs, interrupted one another and sparred over every topic discussed during the debate, including how Portland and Oregon leaders are handling protests that often turn violent.
“Portland, the sheriff just came out today, and he said ‘I support President Trump.’ I don’t think you have any law enforcement,” Trump told Biden.
There is no “Portland sheriff” — just a chief of police. But the city of Portland falls under Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese’s jurisdiction. Reese was elected to the non-partisan position.
Following Trump’s statement, Reese promptly tweeted, “In tonight’s presidential debate the President said the ‘Portland Sheriff’ supports him. As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him.”
KOIN 6 News also asked Reese’s office whether the sheriff supports the president and received the following reply: “NO.”
In an interview with KOIN 6 News reporter Lisa Balick on Wednesday, Reese again reaffirmed his position, saying, “I do not support Donald Trump and I have never supported Donald Trump.”
Reese said Trump’s comments refusing to condemn white supremacy are “pouring gasoline on the fire.”
“I have concerns about the national divisiveness and how that is creating really dire circumstances for our community,” he said.
Meanwhile, the political arm-wrestling continues in Portland after Mayor Ted Wheeler withdrew the city’s consent to federally deputize 56 Portland police officers. Wheeler sent a formal request to U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams; however, Williams and the U.S. Marshal for Oregon Russ Burger said Wednesday they will not cancel the cross-deputization. In a joint statement, Williams and Burger said the “federal deputation supports front line law enforcement officers and their families in a way that they have not seen from City Hall. Portlanders, and Oregonians in general are sick of the boarded-up and dangerous conditions prevalent in downtown Portland due to a lack of leadership.”