KEY POINTS

  • President Trump and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown traded blows on Twitter Thursday after Trump asserted federal agents would not leave Portland as announced on Wednesday
  • Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump's statement while attending a police event in Pennsylvania
  • Brown said Wednesday the Trump administration had agreed to begin withdrawing federal agents from Portland on Thursday, while DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said some would remain to protect federal property

Despite Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's statements that federal agents would begin withdrawing from Portland on Thursday, President Trump said they would remain in the city until order was restored. Trump also attacked Brown in a Twitter post, saying she failed Portland by not clearing out “agitators” and “anarchists.”

Brown responded to Trump’s attack, saying his plan to “dominate” American streets failed and the country was tired of his “grandstanding from DC.”

Brown said Wednesday the Trump administration had agreed to begin withdrawing federal agents from downtown Portland on Thursday. The agreed-upon plan would ramp down the federal presence and hand over responsibilities to state police who would become primarily responsible for monitoring the ongoing protests for racial justice.

However, comments from other Trump administration officials have raised questions about the original timetable for federal agent withdrawal. Vice President Mike Pence said at a “Cops for Trump” event in Pennsylvania “federal law enforcement officers are not leaving Portland until the federal courthouse is secure and law-abiding citizens are safe.”

Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf echoed pence, saying some federal agents would remain in the city to protect federal property until they were deemed safe.

“The Department will continue to maintain our current, augmented federal law enforcement personnel in Portland until we are assured that the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and other federal properties will no longer be attacked and that the seat of justice in Portland will remain secure,” Wolf said in a press release Wednesday.

Brown responded during an interview with ABC News later on Wednesday, saying the plan to withdraw agents was clear and agreed upon by both sides.

“This is definitely a step-by-step, gradual process, but we know how it ends,” Brown said. “They will be out of the city of Portland and Oregonians will be in charge.”

Federal police guard the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland as protesters take part in a rally against police brutality late on July 24, 2020 Federal police guard the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland as protesters take part in a rally against police brutality late on July 24, 2020 Photo: AFP / Kathryn ELSESSER