DHS Chief Chad Wolf Makes It Clear: Feds to STAY in Portland Until There's Calm
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Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is doubling down on his pledge to keep federal agents deployed in restive cities around the country to protect federal courthouses and government property.
In particular, Wolf said that federal agents would remain on station in Portland, Ore., protecting the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse there in spite of demands by Mayor Ted Wheeler and other state Democrat leaders to get them out of the city.
Last week, DHS and Oregon leaders reportedly struck a deal to have Oregon state police step in and take over for federal agents under siege at the courthouse. But when Gov. Kate Brown politicized the alleged agreement, Wolf made clear that he wasn’t removing agents until he was certain the city and Oregon writ large were up to the challenge of protecting federal property.
He tweeted, "As I told the Governor yesterday, federal law enforcement will remain in Portland until the violent activity toward our federal facilities ends. We are not removing any law enforcement while our facilities and law enforcement remain under attack."
Wolf doubled down on that Friday.
“We are going to remain there until we are assured that that courthouse is safe and secure,” Wolf told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" morning program.
"We’ve been asking for 60 days for Portland police or Oregon police to do their job and for whatever reason, it took 60 days,” Wolf added. “It took my law enforcement officers’ 245 injuries, over 90 arrests for them to step up and do their job.”
"I’m glad they’re here; I’m glad they’re partnering with us. We can hopefully bring this to a very peaceful conclusion very quickly," he added.
Wolf’s comments come amid reports that the violence in Portland may be ebbing. He noted that on Friday there was little to no criminal activity.
But it would be about time; he’s not kidding that the violence and unrest has been going on nonstop for more than two months.
Last month, Wolf made it clear as well that DHS would remain committed to protecting federal property and especially courthouses.
"Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it," he said.
“A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice - to attack it is to attack America. Instead of addressing violent criminals in their communities, local and state leaders are instead focusing on placing blame on law enforcement and requesting fewer officers in their community. This failed response has only emboldened the violent mob as it escalates violence day after day.
“This siege can end if state and local officials decide to take appropriate action instead of refusing to enforce the law. DHS will not abdicate its solemn duty to protect federal facilities and those within them. Again, I reiterate the Department’s offer to assist local and state leaders to bring an end to the violence perpetuated by anarchists,” he added.
It’s difficult to say how much taxpayer money it will take to restore the Hatfield courthouse once the anarchists do return to their day jobs. But you can bet it’ll be more than just a few bucks.