Psaki says she hasn’t spoken with Biden about riots in Seattle, Portland

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that she hadn’t spoken with President Biden about unrest in Seattle and Portland. 

“I haven’t spoken with him specifically about those events but it’s something our national security team … the homeland security adviser is closely monitoring, of course,” she said when asked for the president’s comment on unrest in Seattle and Portland. 

More than a dozen people were arrested in the two Pacific Northwest cities, according to police reports Thursday, after demonstrators angry with Biden targeted government buildings and the Oregon Democratic Party building in Portland.

Democratic Party of Oregon headquarters is vandalized during a protest after the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden, in Portland, Oregon, U.S. January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
(Reuters)

In Portland, about 150 people marched on the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon and a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building.

The demonstrators, mostly clad in black, spray-painted anarchy symbols on buildings, broke windows and marched under a banner that read, “We are ungovernable.”

“We don’t want Biden — we want revenge for police murders, imperialist wars, and fascist massacres,” read another banner that the group marched under. 

In Seattle, hours after Biden took office, a group of about 100 people marched in the Emerald City, where police said windows were broken at a federal courthouse and officers arrested three people.

The first Starbucks location was damaged during an anti-Biden protest in Seattle on Wednesday.
(Seattle Police Department)

The crowd called for the abolition of ICE and, outside the federal immigration court, several people set fire to an American flag, The Seattle Times reported.

Local activists are seeking answers after Seattle City Hall failed to publicly address Wednesday night’s protests, local KOMO News reported.

Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Thursday night called on Biden to condemn the rioting. 

“I’m waiting for Pres Biden to condemn violence/looting/arson last two days in Oregon & Washington state,” Grassley wrote on Twitter.

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Portland has been the site of frequent protests, many involving violent clashes between officers and demonstrators, ever since the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. Over the summer, there were demonstrations for more than 100 straight days.

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