After receiving widespread backlash for deploying federal law enforcement in response to protests in Portland, Oregon, Donald Trump promised more of the same in other locations across the U.S.
Among the many bipartisan critics of his approach is founding U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, who spoke out against the president in a recent CNN interview.
“I’m not even sure they have a plan,” he said. “Have they talked to the mayor? Have they talked to the chief of police? Have they talked to the U.S. attorney?”
Ridge went on to describe Trump’s vow to “immediately surge” federal law enforcement to cities including Chicago, Illinois, as a “reality TV” approach to the problem.
“They’ll leave in a couple of weeks and the lawlessness will reemerge, and they still haven’t dealt with the social and the economic conditions that underpin the lawlessness,” he said. “So it’s a very disappointing response to a serious problem but it’s typical of someone who thinks reality TV is real.”
Trump, who rarely allows a critic to have the last word, took to a familiar forum to express his grievances.
“Recently watched failed [Republican In Name Only] Tom Ridge, former head of Homeland Security, trying to justify his sudden love of the Radical Left Mayor of Portland, who last night was booed & shouted out of existence by the agitators & anarchists,” the president tweeted.
He went on to express delight over what he described as “watching pathetic Never Trumpers squirm!”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler denounced the Trump administration’s “abhorrent” use of federal officers on the streets of his city. The mayor did face opposition from protesters — particularly from those who believed he did not do enough to keep Trump’s troops out of Portland.