War of words between Portland mayor, Donald Trump
PIC: AFP

The mayor of Portland, Oregon, and President Donald Trump engaged in a real-time argument Sunday as the president sent a flurry of critical tweets about Ted Wheeler as the mayor was holding a press conference about the fatal shooting of a right-wing supporter in his city the night before.

After Trump called Wheeler, a Democrat, a "fool" and blamed him for allowing violence to proliferate in the liberal city, the visibly angry mayor lashed out at the president, addressing him in the first person through the TV cameras.

"That's classic Trump. Mr. President, how can you think that a comment like that, if you're watching this, is in any way helpful? It's an aggressive stance, it is not collaborative. I certainly reached out, I believe in a collaborative manner, by saying earlier that you need to do your part and I need to do my part and then we both need to be held accountable," Wheeler said.

"Let's work together. Wouldn't that be a message? Donald Trump and Ted Wheeler working together to help move this country forward. Why don't we try that for a change?" The testy news conference followed a chaotic and volatile 24 hours in Portland that began when a caravan of about 600 vehicles packed with Trump supporters drove through Portland and was met with counterprotesters.

Skirmishes broke out between the groups and, about 15 minutes after the caravan left the city, a supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer was fatally shot.

Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson identified the victim as Aaron "Jay" Danielson. He called the victim a "good friend," but provided no further details. Danielson apparently also went by the name Jay Bishop, according to Patriot Prayer's Facebook page.

Trump retweeted the victim's name and wrote, "Rest in peace Jay!" It wasn't clear if the shooting was related to the clashes between Trump supporters and counterprotesters in Portland, which has become a flashpoint in the national Black Lives Matter protests since George Floyd was killed in May.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in