U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday again condemned civil rights protests in Portland, Oregon, decrying what he described as violence in “Democrat-run” cities.
Portland saw clashes through the weekend between local demonstrators and federal agents, who sometimes donned military fatigues without agency identification.
The federal crackdown drew a backlash from state and city officials, and even from a group of mothers, some pregnant, who came out in masks and protective headgear, locked arms, and shouted, “Feds stay clear, the moms are here.”
[UPSOUND: “Feds stay clear, the moms are here.”]
[WOMAN WHO PARTICIPATED IN MOM'S PROTEST, SAYING:]
"Their (federal agents') actions are terrifying. I mean, we as a democracy - we need to stand up. I'm 60 years old. I probably shouldn't be here in public, but this is beyond acceptable."
Oregon's governor and Portland's mayor, both Democrats, called the administration’s move an abuse of power and the state filed a lawsuit against the U.S. agencies involved.
Trump did not back down on Sunday, tweeting, "We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE."
In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Trump attributed the increase in violence in cities such as Chicago and New York by saying "they’re Democrat-run cities, they are liberally run. They are stupidly run."
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures" show said the administration is working on measures to further counter national unrest and that, “you’ll see something rolled out this week.”
The announcement is expected to expand a Justice Department initiative that sends federal law enforcement into cities facing protests.
Meanwhile, House Democrats asked the internal watchdogs for the Justice and Homeland Security departments to launch an investigation into whether they have "abused emergency authorities" in order to justify targeting peaceful protesters in Portland.