Donald Trump says that he plans to send unmarked federal agents to more cities, specifically “Democrat” cities.
As anti-racism protests continue across the country, Trump’s unidentified group of federal agents has ignited violence, caused destruction, and terrorized peaceful protesters. A week ago, Trump praised unmarked troops who took to Portland, Oregon, following major demonstrations in the city. “We are going to have more federal law enforcement,” Trump said after a weekend of violent attacks against protestors that led to one man being shot in the head by a “less lethal” munition. He even praised the federal agents for doing a “fantastic job” amid the violence.
Now, Trump plans to send unidentified troops to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, and Oakland, California. He even noted that the cities he’d like to drop his unidentified army in are led by “liberal Democrats.” Talking to reporters at the White House, Trump said, “We’re sending in law enforcement.” He added, “We can’t let this happen to the cities.”
State and local leaders in Oregon and Congress members have called for Trump to remove the Department of Homeland Security secret police forces from Portland, after videos showed the unidentified troops picking people up and taking them away in black minivans, according to Reuters. Some protestors say they were arrested and released. “Not only do I believe he is breaking the law, but he is also endangering the lives of Portlanders,” said Portland Mayor, Ted Wheeler. However, in response to the backlash, Trump said, “They grab a lot of people and jail the leaders.”
“These are anarchists,” he added of the protesters.
But despite public outcry, DHS said on Monday it would not be pulling back on its terrorism. As a result, Oregon and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit against Trump over unlawfully detaining Oregon residents; some Republicans have also condemned Trump’s recent actions. “There is no place for federal troops or unidentified federal agents rounding people up at will,” tweeted Rep. U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on Monday. The Chicago Tribune reports that Homeland Security has plans to deploy 150 agents in the city this week.