Democratic leaders used very strong terms when they decried the order by President Donald Trump to send federal troops to various U.S. cities to help quell violence from protests and rioting.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took turns condemning the action in a media briefing on Thursday.
“Police officers, any federal officers, have to have ID [stating] where they’re from and what their name is, and more importantly if they go off federal property itself and patrol streets or anything else, they have to get the permission of the executive in charge, mayor or governor,” Schumer said.
“President Trump always likes diversions,” he continued. “He’s miserable failing at testing. He’s miserable failing at contract tracing. He’s miserable failing at getting the economy going. He’s miserable failing on the greatest crisis that America has and the American people know it, so he tries a diversion.”
Pelosi used a term referring to the political militia of the Nazi regime when describing U.S. federal officers.
“It’s very very important. The use of stormtroopers under the guise of law and order that is a tactic that is not appropriate to our country in any way,” Pelosi said.
“It’s so un-American what is happening,” interrupted Schumer.
“It’s so in keeping with Third-World countries and dictatorships, you haul someone off the streets, don’t tell them who you are, why you’re doing it, et cetera,” he added.
“It’s also unconstitutional,” he concluded.
Schumer was referring to unmarked masked federal agents arresting people in the streets of Portland, Oregon, on the order of the president. One such incident was captured on video and spurred critics of the regime to compare the act to dictatorships where dissidents “disappeared” from the streets.
Others questioned the constitutional issues surrounding the order after some mayors and governors made public declarations against receiving aid from federal officers.
Pelosi faced criticism on social media when she used the same term on Friday to describe the federal officers.
“Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti,” tweeted Pelosi.
Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffit… https://t.co/3LAyADR6ya
— Nancy Pelosi (@Nancy Pelosi)1595034627.0
“These are not the actions of a democratic republic,” she tweeted.
Not all local authorities refused the help. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she would coordinate local efforts with the federal officers after the president spoke to her personally on the phone.
Here’s the video of the comments from Schumer and Pelosi:
Pelosi, Schumer decry federal agents in Portland