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30 Aug, 2020 21:56

‘Support us or stay the hell out of the way’: Portland’s Wheeler blasts Trump following shooting death, president fires back

‘Support us or stay the hell out of the way’: Portland’s Wheeler blasts Trump following shooting death, president fires back

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler blamed Donald Trump for encouraging violence following one of the president’s supporters being shot and killed in the city as Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with pro-Trump parade on Saturday.

During a Sunday press conference, Wheeler blasted Trump for creating “hate and division” in the country. 

“Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence?” he said.  

The press conference followed Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter demonstrators clashing the night before in the city. A man, identified as a Trump supporter and part of the Prayer Patriot right-wing group, was shot and killed that night. Trump renewed his calls for the National Guard to enter the city to temper increasingly violent protests, which have gone on for nearly 100 days. Wheeler has denied the federal assistance and warned them to stay out.

Asked about Trump’s response to the unrest, Wheeler again laid blame for the violence on the president’s rhetoric.

“He has an opportunity to uplift us and bring us together and help us move through this difficult situation in our nation’s history and instead he chooses to play petty politics and divide us,” the mayor said.

“I’d appreciate that either the president support us or he stay the hell out of the way,” he later added. 

Other Democrats have similarly been blaming rioting and violent protests on the president. 

Wheeler’s fiery press conference got the attention of Trump, who called Wheeler a “fool for a mayor.”

“Ted Wheeler, the wacky Radical Left Do Nothing Democrat Mayor of Portland, who has watched great death and destruction of his City during his tenure, thinks this lawless situation should go on forever. Wrong! Portland will never recover with a fool for a Mayor,” he tweeted.

“The only way you will stop the violence in the high crime Democrat run cities is through strength!” he added. 

Trump’s eldest son, Don Jr., also attacked Wheeler for his response to Saturday’s death, saying the mayor “has blood on his hands.”

In a followup tweet, he called out Democrats for “absolving themselves of any responsibility” for violent protests.

Many conservatives blasted Wheeler for his handling of protests in the city, where the county district attorney said he would not prosecute most of those apprehended amid the unrest.

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