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Donald Trump’s move to deploy unidentified Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the streets of Portland, Ore., continued to get poor reviews from those in Congress as well as a former homeland security secretary.
Unidentified paramilitary-style agents have been snatching protesters from the streets of Portland recently, likely in an unconstitutional way. Trump has talked about sending such agents to other cities as well.
“You see those images of people who used to work for me in camouflage who look like a military? And it’s provocative. It’s making matters worse and frankly, the whole thing does smell like politics,” said former homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson. “This smells like trying to play the law and order Richard Nixon card from 1968 but the national mood is very different now and Donald Trump is not the challenger. He’s the incumbent. This is happening on his watch. He owns this.”
The protests in Portland and elsewhere sprung up in response to the May 25 murder of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis Minn.
Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois compares the federal agents to the Ku Klux Klan, saying that Trump wants to instigate “a race war.”
“Trump wants to instigate a race war. He want to have black folk fighting white folk so that he can rise up and say, ‘I’m the real Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and I’m the president. Reelect me!’ That’s what he’s trying to do,” Rush said. “He’s trying to play to their fears, to their racial animus that exists among certain white people, and he will do everything and anything to do that because he wants to be reelected at all costs.”
Even late night comedian Seth Meyers jumped in to comment on these unidentified agents snatching Americans.
“Graffiti? You’re going full dictator over some graffiti. What’s next? Are you going to send in SEAL Team Six to arrest lovestruck teens carving their initials into trees?” Meyers asked.
“’Okay, he just finished carving the heart shape into the tree. Take the shot! Take the shot, Todd!’ That’s right our government used graffiti to justify sending secret police to an American city to abduct protesters into unmarked vans without telling them who they are, where they’re going, or why they’ve been arrested,” Meyers added. “But it would be bad enough if what they were doing was using secret police to enforce laws against graffiti that’s already chilling.
“What they’re actually doing is even worse they’re just snatching peaceful protesters off the street. They’re kidnapping people and not even telling them what they’re being charged with.
“Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least Tuesday,” Meyers said. “Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation about why they’re being arrested, and driving off.”
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