Joe Biden: Federal Law Enforcement ‘Brutally Attacking Peaceful Protesters’ in Portland

Anarchist tear gas Portland (Nathan Howard / Getty)
Nathan Howard / Getty

Former Vice President Joe Biden called violent anarchists attacking federal property in Portland, Oregon, “peaceful protesters” in a statement Tuesday condemning President Donald Trump for sending in federal law enforcement officers.

In a statement, Biden failed to condemn the violent actions of rioters who have attacked a federal courthouse, vandalizing it and attempting to set it ablaze.

He also repeated a false claim that protesters in front of the White House last month had been tear gassed, and that the protesters there — who had attacked police and assaulted journalists — were also “peaceful.”

Biden said:

We have a president who is determined to sow chaos and division. To make matters worse instead of better. We all remember the appalling scenes in front of the White House, when peaceful protesters were gassed to make way for a Trump photo op. Now Homeland Security agents — without a clearly defined mandate or authority — are ranging far from federal property, stripped of badges and insignia and identifying markings, to detain people. They are brutally attacking peaceful protesters, including a U.S. Navy veteran. Of course the U.S. government has the right and duty to protect federal property. The Obama-Biden administration protected federal property across the country without resorting to these egregious tactics — and without trying to stoke the fires of division in this country. We need a president who will bring us together instead of tear us apart, calm instead of inflame, and enforce the law faithfully rather than put his political interests first.

Local police in Portland said the “peaceful protesters” were actually violent vandals, burglars, and arsonists:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defended its actions in Portland yesterday as a necessary defense of federal property in the face of inaction by state and local officials. DHS officials noted that officers were wearing identifying insignia, but not name tags, given the tactics of Antifa rioters, who routinely “dox” law enforcement officers to harass and attack them at their personal residences or elsewhere.

President Trump also defended DHS officers, noting that they were within their rights to pursue those who had attacked them, even if it meant leaving the federal courthouse grounds.

The Obama-Biden administration had a long record of endorsing violent protest movements, including both Occupy Wall Street and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Occupy protesters employed a deliberate tactic of placing vulnerable or sympathetic people — such as veterans — in the front lines to absorb the brunt of any use of force by police. In one case, a veteran who was hit in the head by a bean bag fired by Oakland police won a settlement by the city of $4.5 million.

In the recent Portland case, the Navy veteran in question, Christopher David, approached federal officers in the middle of a riot and attempted to accuse them of violating their oaths of office. He was hit with batons — breaking his hand — and pepper sprayed.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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