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Acting DHS Secretary Wolf: ‘All Options’ On the Table for Ending Violent Protests

Acting DHS Secretary Wolf: ‘All Options’ On the Table for Ending Violent Protests
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Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told ABC’s “This Week” that “all options continue to be on the table” in terms of ending violent protests.

Partial transcript as follows:

KARL: Can you give us an update on what exactly happened, as you understand it, in Portland overnight? What happened with the shooting? Who was killed?

WOLF: Well, we’re still waiting, obviously, for that investigation to unfold. I do understand that there were a number of counterprotests and countergroups in Portland overnight. And I think this points to a larger issue that we have seen in Portland for the last three months. And that is local and state officials not allowing law enforcement to do their job and really to bring this violent activity night after night after night to a close. And so what — as you see that continue to unfold over the course of three months, you are going to continue to see violent activity. And we have asked the governor, we have asked the mayor to step in if they don’t have the resources. The president has been very clear on this, as you know. We will — happy to provide resources to bring this violence to an end, violence that, again, across the ideological spectrum, left or right, the violence needs to end.

KARL: So, I saw the president was up and tweeting about this before 6:00 a.m. It’s clearly front and center on his mind. Is he planning on doing something? Is there a consideration of sending in more federal law enforcement, even in the defiance of local leaders?

WOLF: I believe all options continue to be on the table, specifically as we talk about Portland. What we have seen in Wisconsin, Minnesota and other places is those governors stepping up, calling in the National Guard, the state National Guard in many instances. Obviously, Wisconsin, we’re sending in Department of Justice law enforcement officers as well. So, when we talk about Portland, again, they continue to refuse federal — any type of federal assistance to bring that violent activity going on for almost 90 days now — a little over 90 days to a close. The citizens of Portland want this. We need to bring some normalcy back to Portland, and again, if the state and local officials won’t do it, they need to ask for assistance from the Federal Government.

KARL: Do you have a message to those Trump supporters we saw parading into Portland last night? We’ve seen images of apparent Trump supporters seeming to fire paintballs at protesters, pepper spray. What’s your message to those groups?

WOLF: My message to any individual, to any group, if you are going to protest, First Amendment right, please do that peacefully. Once you cross the line to violence, that is what’s concerning to the Department of Homeland Security. That’s what I’m focused on, making sure that we bring any type of violence in any of our cities to a close.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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