First Presidential Debate 2020: Trump says Portland sheriff endorsed him, officer retorts ‘will never back him’
The sheriff said: 'Donald Trump has made my job a hell of a lot harder since he started talking about Portland, but I never thought he'd try to turn my wife against me'
President Donald Trump, on Tuesday, September 29, said he had secured a Portland sheriff's nomination, presumably referring to Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese. But the officer refuted the president's claim immediately. Trump made the statement during the first presidential debate of 2020 with his political rival Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Reese, minutes after Trump's claim, took to Twitter to write: "In tonight’s presidential debate the President said the ‘Portland Sheriff’ supports him. As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him." The sheriff, in another tweet, added: "Donald Trump has made my job a hell of a lot harder since he started talking about Portland, but I never thought he'd try to turn my wife against me! #PortlandSheriff #Debates2020 #DebateNight."
In tonight’s presidential debate the President said the “Portland Sheriff” supports him. As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him.— Mike Reese (@SheriffReese) September 30, 2020
Trump, during the debate, also said that if he had the desired cooperation of local and state leaders, he could end the ongoing protests in Portland in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, when Biden was asked to speak on the issue by moderator Chris Wallace, the former vice-president said that he had attempted to reach out to try to stop the violence in Portland. Wallace asked: "Have you ever called the Democratic mayor of Portland or the Democratic governor of Oregon and said, hey, you gotta stop this, bring in the National Guard, do whatever it takes, to stop the days and months of violence in Portland?" Biden responded: "I don’t hold public office now. I am a former vice president. I’ve made it clear, I’ve made it clear in my public statements, that violence should be prosecuted."
Wallace, however, pressed: “But you’ve never called for the leaders in Portland and in Oregon to bring in the National Guard and knock off 100 days of riots?” To this Biden replied: "They can in fact take care of it if he’d just stay out of the way."
Trump said that he had sent US Marshals to Portland to "get the killer of the young man in the middle of the street", in an apparent reference to 39-year-old Aaron “Jay” Danielson's killing. "They shot him, and for three days Portland wouldn’t do anything. I had to send in the U.S. Marshals, and they took care of business," he added. The former vice-president, however, denounced Trump's response, saying he attempts to "rile" things up. Trump "keeps trying to rile everything up. He doesn’t want to calm things down," Biden said. "Instead of going in and talking to people and saying, ‘Let’s get everybody together, figure out how to deal with this,’ What’s he do? He just pours gasoline on the fire, constantly, every single, solitary time.”
During the debate, the POTUS also claimed that he ended racial sensitivity training because it's "racist" and espouses "sick ideas". When asked by Wallace why Trump ended the racial sensitivity trainings in his administration and the federal government in the wake of a racial awakening in the country, the POTUS said: "I ended it because it's racist," adding that training on issues like critical race theory espoused "sick ideas". "Really they were teaching people to hate our country," Trump added. Biden, during his chance to respond, called him "racist". The former vice-president defended the training, saying: "The fact is that there is racial insensitivity, people have to be made aware of what other people feel like," adding the country can "take this on and we can defeat racism."