Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Monday responded to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler demanding federal officers leave the city amid ongoing violent protests because they are “escalating the situation.”
Wolf told FNC’s “Fox & Friends” that the Department of Homeland Security is in Portland to protect federal facilities and law enforcement because local leaders have “fostered” the “violent anarchists” that are engaging in the “destruction” of the city.
“What we know is before July 4, where we saw an escalation of violence in Portland, before that time, there was violence going, ongoing and DHS had had very few officers in the city,” Wolf explained. “We know that violence before the courthouse, they were directed at the Portland Police Department and other city buildings. So, the facts don’t lie, and the facts are that these violent anarchists and extremists were violent well before DHS surged federal assets into Portland. But at the end of the day, we’re going to protect the courthouse, and we’re going to protect our law enforcement officers there. And what we’ve seen, and you mentioned, we have over 50 nights violent activity targeting federal facilities and federal law enforcement officers, and it needs to stop. DHS is not going to back down from our responsibilities.”
“We are not escalating, we are protecting, again, federal facilities, and it’s our job,” he continued. “It’s what Congress has told us to do time and time again, and so we’re going to do that. We’re going to investigate … we’re going to arrest them and hold those accountable that are doing this destruction.”
Wolf later emphasized, “We are focused on protecting federal facilities. That is our mission, and we’re going to continue to do that.”
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