The Multnomah County sheriff denied supporting President Donald Trump after the president said the “sheriff of Portland” was backing him during a Tuesday night’s debate
“In tonight’s presidential debate the President said the ‘Portland Sheriff’ supports him,” tweeted Sheriff Mike Reese. “As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him.”
It was the first of several references to Portland during Tuesday’s debate.
At one point, moderator Chris Wallace asked former vice president Joe Biden if he’d ever called Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler or Gov. Kate Brown and demanded the officials stop “the days and months of violence in Portland” and bring in the National Guard to end violence and vandalism that has marked some of the city’s ongoing racial justice protests.
Biden said he doesn’t hold public office, but that he’d made it clear that acts of violence should be prosecuted.
“They can take care of it if he just stays out of the way,” said Biden, referring to Trump.
Biden went on to accuse Trump of trying to stoke chaos as a path to winning reelection.
Asked whether he would condemn white supremacists, Trump yet again declined the chance. When asked if he would tell white supremacist organizations such as the Proud Boys to “stand down,” Trump instead urged them to “stand back and stand by.”
The Proud Boys, who have been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, are notorious in Portland for provoking violence and street brawls at political rallies.
The president has made Portland and the nightly protests for racial justice a campaign issue, arguing that Democratic leaders have not done enough to curb the protests.
This summer, Trump sent federal law enforcement officials to Oregon to guard the federal courthouse in downtown Portland. Their arrival escalated the violence downtown, as federal officers used tear gas, less-lethal munitions and other crowd dispersal weapons indiscriminately against large groups of protesters.