MSNBC host Joe Scarborough concluded Sunday morning that conditions in Portland have become unacceptable and that city and state leaders should call in the National Guard.
“Portland’s mayor and Oregon’s governor have been deplorable in the ongoing crisis gripping the city. The chaos continues nightly. If they can’t control their streets and keep their citizens safe from agitators and anarchists, then call in the National Guard. This has to stop now,” Scarborough wrote on Twitter.
Portland’s mayor and Oregon’s governor have been deplorable in the ongoing crisis gripping the city. The chaos continues nightly. If they can’t control their streets and keep their citizens safe from agitators and anarchists, then call in the National Guard. This has to stop now.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) August 30, 2020
The tweet was met with pushback from some of his followers, who accused him of deflecting blame for the chaos in Portland from President Donald Trump and his supporters. To which he responded, “I’ve been condemning the chaos in Portland for some time now. I’m still worried about the safety of citizens and the destruction of family businesses and property. And yes. I’m also deeply offended that rioters think they can set fire to federal buildings. I’m sure you are, too.
Are you kidding me?! Trump supporters drove into Portland to wreak havoc, on his encouragement. You know this. Why such a double standard for responsibility here?
— espadrille 6️⃣5️⃣ DAYS (@TeachEsp) August 30, 2020
One user said, “Eventually you always show your stripes,” but Scarborough maintained that he has “always been against rioting and looting.”
Eventually you always show your stripes.
— Janet Johnson (@JJohnsonLaw) August 30, 2020
In July, Scarborough accused Trump and Attorney General William Barr of deliberately escalating the violence by sending in forces to protect a federal courthouse from being destroyed.
“Much of what is happening in Seattle, Portland, and other West Coast cities is not ‘peaceful’,” he said. “Trump’s dangerous application of federal force has illicited [sic] the response he and Barr were hoping for.” He added that “Further escalation of violence from protesters is what Donald Trump wants.”
Much of what is happening in Seattle, Portland, and other West Coast cities is not “peaceful”. Trump’s dangerous application of federal force has illicited the response he and Barr were hoping for. https://t.co/ySwGeitWhP
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) July 27, 2020
Scarborough’s tweet comes the morning after an apparently right-wing protester was shot and killed during the unrest that has roiled Portland for nearly 100 days. As The Daily Wire reported:
The shooting happened after right-wing protesters drove trucks around the city with American flags and Trump flags and were met by far-left antifa activists who blocked traffic and threw things at the vehicles, which often elicited a response from the vehicles.
In a letter he sent to the president Friday, Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler refused help from the National Guard, writing:
Dear President Trump:
Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city. On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks.
We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection.
There is no place for looting, arson, or vandalism in our city. There is no room here for racist violence or those who wish to bring their ideology of hate into our community. Those who commit criminal acts will be apprehended and prosecuted under the law.
Tens of thousands of Portlanders have peacefully protested and marched for the noble cause of fixing our broken criminal justice system. They are part of the proud progressive tradition of Portlanders fighting for justice – from racial justice to economic justice to environmental justice.
When you sent the Feds to Portland last month, you made the situation far worse. Your offer to repeat that disaster is a cynical attempt to stoke fear and distract us from the real work of our city.
In Portland, we are focused on coming together as a community to solve the serious challenges we face due to systemic racism, a global pandemic and an economic recession.
Stay away, please.
Trump quote-tweeted a profane denunciation of Wheeler on Sunday morning, which said, “Ted Wheeler is the useless f**king idiot and comic relief that gets everyone killed in every disaster movie.”
“Tone down the language, but TRUE!” said Trump.
Tone down the language, but TRUE! https://t.co/CcdNwlLsb3
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2020