Several days after insisting that he would not meet with Trump administration officials, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler demanded a meeting with the Department of Homeland Security over the deteriorating conditions across the city.
Commissioner @JoAnnPDX and I are 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.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 28, 2020
On July 16, however, Wheeler made it clear that he would not sit down with DHS leadership to discuss federal officers’ presence in the city, even if they offered to do so:
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.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 16, 2020
And just last week, Wheeler told CNN that he has “no reason” to reach out to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf.
“My demands are clear,” Wheeler said, “I want them to leave.”
The Trump administration have told Wheeler and other city officials that federal officers will not leave the city until the violent attacks against the federal courthouse and against local police officers stopped.
“It is not a solution to tell federal officers to leave when there continues to be attacks on federal property and personnel. We are not leaving the building unprotected to be destroyed by people intent on doing so,” U.S. Attorney Billy Williams told a telephonic news conference this week.
DHS might even send additional agents to the area, according to the Washington Post.
The U.S. Marshals Service has also identified “up to 100 personnel to send to Oregon in case they were needed to relieve or supplement deputies permanently stationed in the district,” according to Drew Wade, a spokesman for the service.
“They may also be used to rotate with personnel already sent there to support district operations during the civil unrest mission to insure the function and safety of judicial proceedings,” Wade added.