- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Trump campaign is accusing Joseph R. Biden of “siding with the criminals” after the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee expressed concern about “peaceful protesters” being arrested in Portland, Oregon.

“What Joe Biden calls ‘peaceful protestors’ are actually left-wing anarchists who are assaulting police officers in Portland and, incredibly, Biden is siding with the criminals,” said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh. “These ‘peaceful protestors’ are using lasers to target officers’ eyes, shooting ball bearings with slingshots, using pellet guns and air rifles, launching fireworks at the officers, and barricading police inside a federal courthouse.”

In his first comments on the violence in Portland, Mr. Biden on Tuesday accused President Trump of “egregious tactics” for sending in federal law enforcement personnel to prevent attacks on federal buildings.

“Homeland Security agents — without a clearly defined mandate or authority — are ranging far from federal property, stripped of badges and insignia and identifying markings, to detain people,” Mr. Biden said. “They are brutally attacking peaceful protestors, including a U.S. Navy veteran.”

The president on Wednesday is holding an event at the White House to highlight “Operation LeGend,” a surge of federal law enforcement agents in Kansas City, Missouri, to combat a wave of shootings and other violence. Mr. Trump, who is making law and order a central focus of the campaign, is vowing to send in more federal forces to cities such as Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, where mayors are urging the president to stay out.

Mr. Murtaugh said Mr. Biden “has clearly lost his moral bearings and failed the leadership test.”

“That Biden would accuse law enforcement of ‘stoking the fires of division’ while the mob is literally setting fires to police buildings is unconscionable,” he said. “He once again has proven he is too weak to stand up the extremists running his party and can’t bring himself to take the side of law enforcement officers under siege.”

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