On Sunday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hammered President Donald Trump as “recklessly encouraging violence.” Biden’s statement comes after a man died following violent conflicts Saturday afternoon in Portland, Oregon, between Black Lives Matter protesters and those involved in a pro-Trump vehicle rally.

Trump offered support on Saturday afternoon for a caravan of supporters who were part of a Trump rally in Portland. The Trump supporters had been recorded spraying protesters with paintballs and what appeared to be pepper spray. In turn, a video captured showed protesters launching objects at the pro-Trump vehicles, which mainly consisted of four-wheel-drive trucks driving through downtown Portland in streets chock filled with protesters. Throughout the day, multiple altercations had been seen breaking out between members of both groups.

In a tweet, Trump shared the pro-Trump caravan video while it drove into Portland. He referred to its participants as “GREAT PATRIOTS!” 

In another tweet, Trump referred to protesters in Washington, D.C., as “Disgraceful Anarchists” and claimed, “We are watching them closely.”

In a press statement Sunday, Biden called “the deadly violence” in Portland “unacceptable.” He also said that he condemns “violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right.”

Biden said, “As a country, we must condemn the incitement of hate and resentment that led to this deadly clash… It is not a peaceful protest when you go out spoiling for a fight. What does President Trump think will happen when he continues to insist on fanning the flames of hate and division in our society and using the politics of fear to whip up his supporters?”

The Democratic nominee accused the president of “recklessly encouraging violence.” 

He added that while Trump “may believe tweeting about law and order makes him strong … his failure to call on his supporters to stop seeking conflict shows just how weak he is.”

“He may think that war in our streets is good for his reelection chances, but that is not presidential leadership – or even basic human compassion,” Biden said. “The job of a president is to lower the temperature. … The temperature in the country is higher, tensions run stronger, divisions run deeper. And all of us are less safe because Donald Trump can’t do the job of the American president,” Biden stated.

Portland police are investigating the shooting of a man found dead Saturday night, although it is not immediately clear whether his death is directly connected to the Saturday afternoon upheaval.

On Aug. 25, Kyle Rittenhouse killed two protestors and injured a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

On Twitter Sunday, Trump blamed the violence on Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, claiming that he was “incompetent” and a “fool.”


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