- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 30, 2020

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Sunday it is President Trump’s fault that violence has broken out in several cities across the U.S., including in his own city, where one man died Saturday during a clash between Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters.

The president has blamed Mr. Wheeler and other Democratic-led cities for not doing enough as unrest has been continuing for weeks since the death of George Floyd, a Black man in police custody, on Memorial Day.

The president called for the feds to step in — if requested by local and state officials — to help stop the rioting and violence.

But Oregon leaders have rejected the call for help, and on Sunday, Mr. Wheeler put the blame directly on Mr. Trump.

“It’s you who have created the hate and division,” Mr. Wheeler said. “You have tried to divide us more than any other figure in modern history and now you want me to stop the violence that you helped to create.”

Later he again addressed Mr. Trump, telling a reporter in the question-and-answer session that “I would appreciate if he would support us or stay the hell away.”

His comments come after someone was killed in Portland after a caravan of Trump supporters drove through the city which has seen more than 90 nights of rioting and protests by Black Lives Matter activists.

Joey Gibson, head of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, said the dead man was a “good friend and a supporter” of the group, although he did not identify him.

Mr. Wheeler condemned the violence, saying it is important for everyone to pull together across political lines.

“The tragedy last night cannot be repeated. All of us must take a stand against violence,” Mr. Wheeler said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what your politics are.”

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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