SEVERE WX : High Wind Warning - Wind Advisory View Alerts

DHS must 'do a better job communicating' after Portland, acting secretary says

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said his department needs to "do a better job communicating" its intentions in the wake of a deployment of feder...

Posted: Aug 18, 2020 12:14 PM

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said his department needs to "do a better job communicating" its intentions in the wake of a deployment of federal law enforcement officers to Portland, Oregon, this summer.

"Lesson learned, is better communicating exactly who we are targeting. We are not targeting peaceful protesters, individuals exercising their First Amendment rights," he told Axios on HBO in an interview that aired Monday night.

Tensions grew in Portland last month after federal officers arrived in the city, which has seen prolonged and at times violent protests over demands for racial justice and police accountability.

"I don't subscribe to the fact that we inflamed the violence there in Portland," Wolf said.

When asked if antifa activists are "domestic terrorists," Wolf said, "I think they certainly can be in certain circumstances," connecting the group to protests in Portland. It is "difficult to answer" whether antifa has been responsible for any deaths, said Wolf, when pressed on whether anyone had been killed by antifa. "Antifa is a very loose-knit organization."

Antifa is short for anti-fascists. The term is used to define a broad group of people whose political beliefs lean toward the left -- often the far left. The group doesn't have an official leader or headquarters, although groups in certain states hold regular meetings.

Wolf sought to counter the belief that DHS was targeting and arresting protesters. "These individuals that we are targeting, we have seen them commit a criminal act," he said.

In addition to better communications, he reiterated that DHS was looking into changing the uniforms of its officers from the camouflage used in Portland to more closely resemble other law enforcement officers.

Wolf denied there is a problem with systemic racism in policing in America, saying, "absolutely not."

"This idea that we have systemic racism is not accurate in my view," he said. "What people mean by systemic racism is that we have designed an institution, a law enforcement institution, to be racist from the get-go. And I just don't subscribe to that."

In response to Wolf's interview, Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement it was "galling" for Wolf "to use a primetime television appearance to attempt to rewrite history about the Trump Administration's attacks on protestors in Portland, mislead the American people on mail-in voting, and falsely characterize Antifa as a top threat."

Wolf also told Axios that there is an ongoing concern about states that are doing "mass mail ballot voting."

"The Department of Homeland Security's national security mission is supposed to be non-partisan and should operate outside the realm of campaign politics. Instead, Mr. Wolf continues to politicize the Department, to the detriment of the agency and its mission," Thompson said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 156287

Reported Deaths: 2252
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31935542
Washington21311212
Marion18541285
Clackamas13426183
Lane10325129
Jackson8489114
Umatilla767882
Deschutes597561
Yamhill379168
Linn360157
Malheur335358
Polk307343
Klamath279855
Douglas252755
Josephine236553
Benton234817
Jefferson196628
Coos152420
Union129519
Columbia127421
Wasco122126
Lincoln113620
Hood River106929
Morrow104914
Clatsop7776
Crook77618
Baker6639
Curry4296
Tillamook4212
Lake3786
Harney2776
Grant2251
Wallowa1425
Gilliam541
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3582320

Reported Deaths: 53083
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119601721676
Riverside2904983849
San Bernardino2870552959
Orange2617983966
San Diego2613533342
Santa Clara1110761798
Kern103756915
Fresno957851451
Sacramento937901498
Alameda809501271
Ventura77952870
San Joaquin671231150
Contra Costa62931695
Stanislaus56433953
Tulare48114768
Monterey42335329
San Mateo39148521
San Francisco34387422
Santa Barbara32147420
Solano30216165
Merced29264407
Sonoma28261301
Imperial26926638
Kings22091220
Placer19911232
San Luis Obispo19751238
Madera15523214
Santa Cruz14736183
Marin13285198
Yolo12867185
Shasta11054179
Butte11007167
El Dorado9195100
Napa908072
Sutter889998
Yuba577638
San Benito577061
Lassen562324
Tehama510452
Nevada398874
Tuolumne396659
Mendocino382643
Amador347441
Humboldt323033
Lake316941
Glenn223223
Colusa214013
Calaveras191849
Siskiyou178414
Inyo132137
Mono12144
Del Norte10085
Plumas6536
Modoc4604
Mariposa3957
Trinity3735
Sierra1000
Alpine820
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 46°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 52°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 46°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 46°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 39°
Strong south winds Thursday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events