Thursday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said President Donald Trump ordering the use of federal police officers in Portland, OR, and threatening to do the same in other cities to quell the ongoing protests was turning America into a “police state.”
Mitchell said, “The president has been sending federal agents into Portland now and threatening to do it in Chicago as well, now threatening other Democratic cities, using tear gas against the mayor of Portland, when he went out to talk to the protesters last night. What is your response to the attorney general and the president saying that it’s the Democratic cities that have this crime problem, and they need to have federal agents from Homeland Security?”
Sanders said, “I don’t want to get people too nervous here, but we have a president who really does not believe in democracy. This is a president who is trying to suppress the vote. This is a president who has contempt for Congress, ignores what Congress does. This is a president who does not respect a free press in America, the First Amendment. He thinks the media is an enemy of the people. And now what this president is saying is, I don’t care what mayors say, I don’t care what governors say, I am the president, I will send federal troops or federal agents any place in this country.”
He continued, “That is, Andrea, what a police state is about. That is what a movement toward authoritarianism is about. And the American people have got to stand up and say, you know what, we may have disagreements, but we are a democracy, we respect local control, we respect the role of governors. A president cannot send troops wherever he wants to quash dissent. People have a First Amendment right to protest. Now, obviously all of us hope that those protests are not violent, I think that’s counterproductive. But you cannot as a president send troops willy-nilly. That is what a police state is about. And the American people, regardless of political views, have got to oppose that.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.