PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Governor Kate Brown and President Donald Trump continue to publicly clash over the federal presence in Portland.
Several hours after federal officers once again tear gassed protesters in downtown Portland, Trump directly attacked Brown in a tweet — accusing her of not doing her job.
“Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon, isn’t doing her job. She must clear out, and in some cases arrest, the Anarchists & Agitators in Portland,” Trump said. “If she can’t do it, the Federal Government will do it for her. We will not be leaving until there is safety!”
“I think we’ve had enough political grandstanding from DC. The President’s plan to “dominate” the streets of American cities has failed. And today, federal troops are preparing to leave downtown Portland. We will protect free speech and the right to protest peacefully.”
On Wednesday evening, Governor Brown appeared on CNN’s Don Lemon show to discuss the ongoing protests along with the Trump administration’s response. Brown’s primetime interview came the same day she announced federal officers will be withdrawing from the Rose City by Thursday.
She did say that because it is a phased withdrawal, it will not happen overnight.
“It is a step by step process. The good news is that Trump’s troops, including border patrol, customs and ICE, are leaving the streets of downtown Portland,” she told Lemon. “It will certainly make Portland safer and quieter.”
She went on to claim that the deployment of federal agents was nothing but political theater, something to play to Trump’s supporters.
“This was clearly a political strategy. It was about political theater, scoring points with their base,” Brown said. “It has nothing — absolutely nothing — to do with public safety or problem-solving.”
She did concede that while the majority of protests in Portland are largely peaceful, there are some instances of violence that typically happen in the early-morning hours. She said the violent actions are done by a “few outliers,” describing trash can fires and the throwing of rocks.
Brown condemned those actions, calling it a distraction of the real issues at hand — which include “tackling racism in our policing and our justice system.”
“The vast majority of protests are peaceful, not only in Portland and across the state and frankly across the entire country — you have citizens, moms and dads, aunts and uncles, lawyers, doctors and teachers and folks all encouraging that we take action to eradicate racism in our justice system, education system and our healthcare system,” she said. “Action that is long overdue. This is important work that we should be focusing on.”
Federal officers deployed multiple volleys of tear gas and made arrests as several hundred people protested in downtown Portland for the 62nd consecutive night, hours after state leaders announced federal agents would soon leave the streets of Portland.
Hours later on Thursday morning, Portland police cleared protesters from parks across from the federal courthouse and the Justice Center in downtown Portland. Mayor Ted Wheeler said it was at the request of Oregon State Police, as a “part of the plan for federal officers to leave our community.”