(Headline USA) The Trump administration has started talks with the Oregon governor’s office and indicated that it would begin to draw down the presence of federal agents sent to quell two months of violent protests in Portland if the state stepped up its own enforcement.
An anonymous White House source allegedly told The Associated Press that the talks with the office of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown are in the early stages and there is no agreement.
Brown didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office also didn’t immediately respond to an email.
Just a day earlier, the U.S. Marshals Service and Department of Homeland Security were weighing whether to send in more agents.
The marshals were taking steps to identify up to 100 additional personnel who could go in case they were needed to relieve or supplement the deputy marshals who work in Oregon, spokesman Drew Wade said.
The nightly protests often spiral into violence as domestic terrorists target the U.S. courthouse in Oregon’s largest city with rocks, fireworks and laser pointers and federal agents respond with tear gas, non-lethal ammunition and arrests.
“We, as you know, have done an excellent job of watching over Portland and watching our courthouse where they wanted to burn it down, they’re anarchists, nothing short of anarchist agitators,” Trump said Tuesday. “And we have protected it very powerfully. And if we didn’t go there, I will tell you, you wouldn’t have a courthouse. You’d have a billion-dollar burned-out building.”
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Tuesday that she had received confirmation that U.S. agents had left her city after being sent to Seattle last week to protect federal buildings amid lingering unrest.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.