Donald Trump Says Federal Troops May Stay In Portland After Governor Announces Withdrawal

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on his way to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on May 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump is traveling to Allentown, Pennsylvania to visit Owens & Minor, a medical equipment distributor.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Thursday that federal troops would not be leaving Portland just hours after Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that they would be.

“Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon, isn’t doing her job. She must clear out, and in some cases arrest, the Anarchists & Agitators in Portland. If she can’t do it, the Federal Government will do it for her. We will not be leaving until there is safety!”

On Wednesday, Brown confirmed that she and Vice President Mike Pence had come to an agreement to have federal agents exit the city, which has seen ongoing protests for over two months.

“After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland. They have acted as an occupying force & brought violence. Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland,” she wrote on Twitter.

Demonstrations in the city had largely dwindled prior to the feds arriving. After unidentified troops — later found to be from the Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — were accused of detaining demonstrators and tear-gassing crowds of people, the demonstrations began to dramatically increase in number.

On several evenings, a group of mothers gathered together to create a human shield for those demonstrating against the federal presence and speaking out for the Black Lives Matter movement. Later, a group of veterans joined the gathering to help support protesters.

Federal officers use tear gas and other crowd dispersal munitions on protesters outside the Multnomah County Justice Center on July 17, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Federal law enforcement agencies attempt to intervene as protests continue in Portland.
  Mason Trinca / Getty Images

As part of the agreement reached by the governor and the VP, the feds will leave the city, with just a few staying behind to act as year-round security for federal buildings.

Despite the announcement that officers would be leaving, federal agents once again tear-gassed and arrested demonstrators in downtown Portland as local CBS affiliate KOIN reported. Late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, agents declared the protest an unlawful assembly. Those gathered were asked to vacate the vicinity of the courthouse, which has been fenced off to prevent people from damaging the property.

People present told the news outlet that they viewed the presence of officers, directed there by the Trump administration, as tyranny and occupying force.

Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly threatened to send additional law enforcement to quell the protests. On Wednesday, after the troop withdrawal was announced, he said that if local leaders didn’t “solve their problem,” he would send in the National Guard, as the Daily Mail reported.