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Trump trades barbs with Portland mayor, Biden over protests

Mayor of Portland says US President is to blame for outbreak of violence

PORTLAND US President Trump spent Sunday morning tweeting and retweeting dozens of posts purporting to show violence in Democratic-run cities, especially Portland.

He retweeted a post that had used a profanity to describe Portland mayor Ted Wheeler - commenting only to "Tone down the language, but TRUE!" - and others in which the original tweeters accused the mayor, a Democrat, of "war crimes" and of having blood on his hands, reported Bloomberg.

Mr Trump has repeatedly threatened to send federal government forces into the west coast city if Mr Wheeler does not crack down on the protests.

Saturday's shooting during a pro-Trump rally in the Oregon city followed a week of country-wide protests - including the cancellation of numerous sporting events - over the police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, of African American Jacob Blake.

Mr Trump attacked Mr Wheeler, a Democrat, for refusing help from the National Guard, which he said "could solve these problems in less than 1 hour".

Mr "Wheeler is incompetent, much like Sleepy Joe Biden," Mr Trump tweeted. "This is not what our great Country wants. They want Safety & Security, and do NOT want to Defund our Police!"

TOLERATE

Mr Wheeler blasted Mr Trump in a press conference on Sunday, saying that for nearly four years Americans have had to tolerate what the mayor called Mr Trump's racist attacks on blacks, sexist talk about women, insults toward immigrants and journalists, and now, towards mayors of major US cities.

"Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? It's you who have created the hate and the division," Mr Wheeler said.

Earlier, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned the violence and argued that Mr Trump had played a role in spurring the clashes.

The former vice-president asked: "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?"

Mr Trump was also planning to visit Kenosha despite both the governor of Wisconsin, Mr Tony Evers, and mayor John Antaramian asking him to reconsider. Both are Democrats.

"I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing," Mr Evers said. - AFP, REUTERS

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