De Blasio on Use of Federal Officers: ‘What the President Is Doing Is Unconstitutional’

Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sounded off on President Donald Trump ordering the use of federal police officers in Portland, OR, to quell the violence in the ongoing protests and the prospect of the president ordering them to New York City after a surge in violence there.

De Blasio called the use of federal officers “unconstitutional” and said he would “go to court immediately” if Trump sent the officers to New York City because it is “repressing the right to free speech” and “disrupting the right to protest.”

“Mika, look, I still believe in the rule of law in this country, and we would go to court immediately,” de Blasio told co-host Mika Brzezinski. “I believe what the president is doing is unconstitutional. And I thought that quote from Tom Ridge was really important to recognize this is not the place of federal agencies to get involved in repressing the right to free speech, disrupting the right to protest, which is an American right. Look what the president said. He said he wanted to dominate the protesters. Remember that quote a few weeks ago. That has nothing to do with the mission of these federal agencies.”

He continued, “[R]ight now, what the president is doing is he’s tearing up the Constitution. What he did in Portland is already a horrible step in the wrong direction, and it’s been counterproductive. It’s created more violence, more harm, more protests. So, in the end, if one of these federal officers steps foot in New York City with the intention of denying the first amendment rights of New Yorkers, we will be in court immediately, and we will win, because every time they’ve tried an unconstitutional act, every time the Trump administration has tried to bend the Constitution to their will, they have lost in court.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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