Portland Mayor Slams Trump: 'Support Us Or Stay The Hell Out Of The Way'

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler speaks to the media at City Hall on August 30, 2020 in Portland, Oregon
Nathan Howard/Getty

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler held a press conference after the shooting death during a protest

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler held a press conference yesterday about the shooting death that occurred amid fights between Black Lives Matter protesters and a pro-Trump caravan on Saturday. It was his words for the president, however, that captured everyone’s attention. Words that came after Trump praised the caravan on social media, calling them, “GREAT PATRIOTS.”

Wheeler, who has been Portland’s mayor since 2017, attacked Trump for his role in our country’s violence and his lack of leadership when it comes to the nationwide protests happening in support of Black lives and the end of systemic racism. “Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence?” Wheeler said. “It’s you who have created the hate and the division.”

Wheeler continued: “It’s you who have not found a way to say the names of Black people killed by police officers even as people in law enforcement have. And it’s you who claimed that White supremacists are good people,” he continued. “Your campaign of fear is as anti-democratic as anything you’ve done to create hate and vitriol in our beautiful country.”

Portland has been in the news consistently because, for more than 90 consecutive nights, protesters have continued marching over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and gained momentum in recent days after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Trump sent federal police in to restore “law and order,” making the already tense situation incrementally worse.

“President Trump, you bring no peace. You bring no respect to our Democracy. You, Mr. President, need to do your job as the leader of this nation and I, Mr. President, will do my job as the mayor of this city,” Wheeler continued. “And we will both be held accountable, as we should.”

Wheeler was joined during the press conference by Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell and Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, all who denounced the violence and asked anyone planning to come to the city to seek retribution for the killing to please stay away. So far, no arrests have been made in the shooting.

Trump lashed out at Wheeler on Twitter early today, saying in part, “Portland will never recover with a fool for a Mayor. He tried mixing with the Agitators and Anarchists and they mocked him. He would like to blame me and the Federal Government for going in, but he hasn’t seen anything yet. We have only been there with a small group to defend our U.S. Courthouse, because he couldn’t do it.”

“I’d appreciate that the president either supports us,” Wheeler said in his closing remarks, “or he stays the hell out of the way.”

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