Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Blinks: Asks for Meeting with Feds

Ted Wheeler (Nathan Howard / Getty)
Nathan Howard / Getty

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler backed away Monday from a pledge he made on July 16 not to meet with representatives of the Department of Homeland Security, which deployed officers to the city to protect the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.

Originally, Wheeler said: “A number of people have asked if I know DHS leadership is in town, and if I’m going to meet with them. We’re aware that they’re here. We wish they weren’t. We haven’t been invited to meet with them, and if we were , we would decline.”

But on Monday evening, Wheeler tweeted that he and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty were “calling for an immediate meeting with Department of Homeland Security leadership on the ground in Portland and with Acting Secretary @DHS_Wolf to discuss a cease-fire and the removal of heightened federal forces from Portland.”

Wheeler joined rioters last week as they protested outside the courthouse — and fired incendiaries at federal law enforcement officers. The crowd, with whom Wheeler had come to express solidarity, jeered and swore at him.

Later, the mayor was tear-gassed along with the crowd. As security whisked him away, he was assaulted by fellow rioters.

Democrats have tried to pretend that the Portland riots are not actually happening. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, claimed that federal law enforcement officers were “brutally attacking peaceful protesters.” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) claimed the violence was a “myth.”

But on Monday, the first signs of worry began to emerge among Democrats that their support for the violence was hurting their cause.

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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