President Donald Trump today congratulated the head of the Department of Homeland Security for quelling protests against police violence in Portland. Trump confirmed reports that he sent federal officers to crack down on property destruction at the federal courthouse, because “the locals couldn’t handle it.”

The president brought up Portland at a meeting of military commanders in Doral, Fla., to discuss drug trafficking. His remarks were posted by the White House and reported this afternoon by Oregon Public Broadcasting.

For six weeks, a nightly uprising against racism and killings by police has marched through the streets of Portland, with protesters typically converging at downtown courthouses. On some nights, protesters have sprayed graffiti and set fires at or near those buildings, including the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse.

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