‘WE ARE NOT ABLAZE’: Portland Fire Chief Rips Trump For Lying About Rip City
Donald Trump has been using the city of Portland as a political dumping ground for nearly one hundred days as Black Lives Matter protests continue in the city’s downtown area. When the protests began on May 26th in response to the murder of George Floyd, they first went mostly unnoticed by Trump. But when a few isolated incidents of violence occurred over several nights of protests, Trump sent in an unwanted team of federal officers (whose origins are still unknown), which ended up causing more violence than stemming the smaller acts of graffiti and property damage. The Feds have left the city, and despite Trump’s renewed offer to send more, the city declined.
Over the weekend, a massive Trump Car Rally that began in the suburbs deliberately made its way to the area where most of the peaceful protests were taking place. Members of the fringe groups Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys participated, and as the violence increased, one member of Patriot Prayer was shot and killed by return gunfire. Trump increased his attacks on the city at a press briefing on Monday, where he claimed Portland is “ablaze” and has “been on fire for decades”. He inexplicably doubled down on those remarks in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, saying “Portland’s been burning for many years — for decades, it’s been burning.” Trump claimed that the protests have done so much damage, “the entire city is ablaze all the time.”
“WE ARE NOT ABLAZE IN PORTLAND,” Lt. Rich Chatman, a spokesman for Portland Fire & Rescue, said in a text message to CNN. “There is a very isolated pocket of demonstrations that have involved fire, none of which has been substantial enough to need more than 1 fire engine.”
CNN law enforcement correspondent Josh Campbell, a former FBI special agent who is reporting from Portland, tweeted that it is a “100% flat out lie.” On Monday, Campbell said he went to Starbucks, shopped at a mall, ate at a food truck, and watched a bike tour roll down the street past his downtown hotel. Snarky locals tweeted photos back to Campbell to showcase the city in real time.
Portland- try to see past the smoke and flames pic.twitter.com/w5D9ojo6Wv
— TellMeMore…about the Dark Shadows 😷 (@prefrontL) September 1, 2020
After the weekend’s deadly protest, local Portland government officials began calling for a peaceful resolution to end the protests altogether.