Trump aide Stephen Miller said without federal agents, a federal courthouse would've been reduced to 'ash, smoke, rubble, and cinder.' But evidence suggests otherwise.
The peace that befell the city after the federal agents left completely contradicts the messaging from Trump and his allies — who have said that without the federal presence, a federal courthouse in the city would've been destroyed.
On Friday morning, Trump adviser Stephen Miller said on Fox News that without the agents, the courthouse would've been reduced to "ash, smoke, rubble, and cinder."
In a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr agreed with Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan that the courthouse would not be "standing" had the federal law enforcement officers not been sent in.
Trump himself said the same, tweeting on Wednesday: "If the Federal Government and its brilliant Law Enforcement (Homeland) didn’t go into Portland one week ago, there would be no Portland -- It would be burned and beaten to the ground."
However, by all accounts, the federal agents — who abducted, fired tear gas and rubber bullets, and even beat peaceful protesters — created tension in the city, helping turn demonstrations for racial justice into violent affairs.
Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown had warned that this was the case, saying the Trump administration was trying to provoke unrest with the federal presence.
"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 the Trump administration was "on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes."
She demanded the administration pull the troops, which they finally agreed to on Wednesday.
Ultimately, Trump is trying to use images of unrest at protests in places like Portland as fodder for his reelection bid, saying that only he can stop the violence.
But voters don't appear to be buying that argument.
Polls show that voters actually trust presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on "crime and safety" over Trump.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.