President Donald Trump deployed federal agents to Portland, Oregon, as a “trial run” to “try to steal” the upcoming election, MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann said earlier this week.
- Trump sent federal forces into the city “in response to weeks of demonstration it said were endangering federal property,” The Hill reported.
- But Heilemann said on Morning Joe on Tuesday that he believes the president has ulterior motives.
“I don’t want to be overly alarmist about this, but this is the time to be alarmist knowing where Donald Trump stands politically, understanding where we are headed in this election. I think we are looking at potentially a trial run for ... a genuine attempt to, through intimidation, and potentially through force, to try to steal this election," Heilemann said.
"I think we are now at the point where we see the things that the president is doing, we see his intention to not accept an outcome of this election where he loses to Joe Biden," he added.
- The Hill noted that local officials have asked the administration to pack up its operation, claiming the federal agents are only making the situation worse.
- However, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said on Monday that he does not need an “invitation” from local officials to deploy his forces: “We're going to do that, whether they like us there or not.”
- Trump suggested on Monday that he might send additional federal agents to New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and other major cities to crack down on unrest and violence across the U.S.
- On Wednesday the president followed through, announcing a “surge” of federal law enforcementto Chicago and Albuquerque and saying other cities would be added later.