Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced on Wednesday that federal agents will withdraw from the state, saying they 'brought violence.'
Federal agents will withdraw from Portland, Oregon, starting Thursday, following demands from state and local officials who said their presence was causing violence and tension in the city.
"After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland," Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, tweeted. "They have acted as an occupying force & brought violence. Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland."
Brown's announcement that the agents were packing up and going home came just two hours after Donald Trump vowed that the federal presence wasn't going away.
"We're not leaving until they secure their city," Trump said Wednesday morning, before he left the White House to travel to Texas to fundraise and tour an oil rig. "We told the governor, we told the mayor, secure your city. If they don't secure their city soon, we have no choice — we're gonna have to go in and clean it out."
Trump sent federal agents to Portland two weeks ago, after Trump signed an executive order in late June to protect federal properties. The Department of Homeland Security issued a memo justifying their presence in Portland that included mostly graffiti incidents.
Attorney General William Barr testified before Congress on Tuesday about the presence of the federal officers, who have caused an uproar across the country as images of agents tear-gassing and firing projectiles at mothers gathering for peaceful protests emerged.
Barr claimed the federal courthouse wouldn't be "standing" if agents hadn't gone in and stopped the graffiti.
Brown accused the Trump administration of using the officers as a political tool to gin up GOP votes in other areas of the country.
"Trump is looking for a confrontation in Oregon in the hopes of winning political points in Ohio or Iowa," Brown tweeted on July 16, adding that, "Trump is looking for a confrontation in Oregon in the hopes of winning political points in Ohio or Iowa."
But Trump's effort to paint himself as the "law and order" candidate and attack presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as weak on crime doesn't seem to be working.
A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll showed that voters actually trust Biden over Trump on the issue of "crime and safety."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.