Brushing aside Democratic charges that federal agents are at fault in the Portland, Oregon, clashes, the No. 2 DHS official on Monday said that homegrown “terrorists” are to blame for the 53rd straight night of violence in the City of Roses.

Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, describing brutal assaults on federal police and agents, ripped reports that the department and other agencies are acting outside the law.

“These are not peaceful protests. This is violent, criminal activity. And when they show up directed at law enforcement, it’s terrorism. Law enforcement officers and agents have been targeted in the attacks,” said Cuccinelli.

“We are talking about violent anarchists who are engaging in both violence, to the point of terrorism on occasion, and who have been assaulting federal property and officers night after night,” he added.

Cuccinelli, the administration’s most outspoken point person on the protests, said that agents with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Federal Protective Service, Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection assigned to protect federal buildings in Portland, mostly the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, have been repeatedly attacked.

“They were targeted because they were in uniform. That is terrorism, that is what that is,” he said, adding, “We are not talking about peaceful protesters.”

He is leading the administration’s pushback against congressional Democrats and Mayor Ted Wheeler, who want the agents out.

Media reports have played up claims that federal agents have been tough, sometimes using tear gas to break crowds up, while ignoring the attacks by anarchists, including with cans, blinding lasers, and “professional” fireworks and mortars, said other officials.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said his agents are not leaving Portland. “DHS is not going to back down from our responsibilities,” Wolf told Fox News. “We are protecting, again, federal facilities. It’s our job.”

In some media reports and viral videos, claims have been made that federal police are disguising themselves in unmarked vehicles and odd uniforms to target protesters in Portland since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis nearly two months ago.

But DHS officials forcefully denied those reports and even mocked them, saying that virtually every police force in the United States uses unmarked cars.

They also challenged reports, such as one in the New York Times, that agents have not been trained to handle a situation such as Portland’s “autonomous zone.” One official said, “They are trained for the roles that they are performing.”

And it’s not just the DHS pushing back. Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner said the city has “had enough” of the violence. The union’s building was vandalized over the weekend.

Author: Paul Bedard

Source: Washington Examiner: DHS’s Ken Cuccinelli: ‘It’s terrorism’ in Portland, ‘not peaceful protests’