Actor Alec Baldwin is pushing a wild conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump could use armed force to stop the election in November. The Hollywood star is basing his unfounded claim on the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to deploy federal agents in Portland, Oregon, to subdue violent rioters following weeks of urban chaos.
“The ‘police’ activity in Portland, and lack of outrage over/resistance to it tells us how Trump could stop the election in November. It’s his only hope,” Alec Baldwin wrote.
The “police” activity in Portland, and lack of outrage over/resistance to it tells us how Trump could stop the election in November.
It’s his only hope.
— HABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) July 18, 2020
Alec Baldwin more forcefully pushed his theory in a separate tweet claiming that a military intervention is “Trump’s election strategy.” The actor pointed to an Esquire article by left-wing, anti-Trump pundit Charles P. Pierce who wrote that the federal crackdown in Portland could be a “dress rehearsal” for November.
This is Trump’s election strategy https://t.co/1ZhHgsJC0B
— HABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) July 17, 2020
Celebrity siblings Patricia and Rosanna Arquette added to the hysteria by claiming that federal agents are the “secret police,” using “Gestapo” tactics. Their inflammatory rhetoric is similar to that of House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who referred to law enforcement as “stormtroopers.”
Trump is turning America into a true shithole country. Where Americans are being hunted by secret police who are tossing US citizens into rented vans and refusing to identify themselves. https://t.co/mKT9FrU0Ki
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) July 17, 2020
The top story in the country right now should be un identified men with Military killing machine GUNS are arresting and kidnapping peaceful protestors in Portland and we don’t know where they are taking them. This is Terrorism ,GESTAPO tactics and incredibly illegal
— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) July 17, 2020
DHS officers moved to subdue rioters in Portland after the the head of the Department of Homeland Security visited the Oregon city and called the demonstrators “violent anarchists.”
Despite widespread claims that the protestors were “peaceful,” DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf confirmed that officers were “assaulted with lasers and frozen water bottles from violent criminals attempting to tear down federal property. 2 officers were injured.”
Let’s get this right. “Protestors” imply they were peacefully exercising their 1st amendment rights. Instead, DHS officers were assaulted with lasers and frozen water bottles from violent criminals attempting to tear down federal property. 2 officers were injured. Facts matter. https://t.co/U2CdAT0c9G
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) July 17, 2020
The department’s tactics were called into question after a video showed a suspect being taken into custody in an unmarked vehicle. DHS said that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents had information that the individual was suspected of assaulting agents or destroying property.
The agents were also facing a large mob of people and made the decision to take the suspect into the car as a precautionary measure, according to the DHS.
Some media reports also complained that agents weren’t wearing identifying clothing, but the DHS disputes this.
“The CBP agents identified themselves and were wearing CBP insignia during the encounter,” the department said in a statement. “The names of the agents were not displayed due to recent doxing incidents against law enforcement personnel who serve and protect our country.”
Portland has experienced weeks of violent protests and rioting since the death of George Floyd in May. Mayor Ted Wheeler has attempted to blame the chaos on President Trump and has refused federal agents in the city despite the spiraling violence.