Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, July 23, 2020
Can’t win for losing? Ted Wheeler knows how that feels.
The mayor probably thought he was entering friendly turf on Wednesday night when he went to have a “listening session” with the anarchists who are destroying Portland. After all, Wheeler has allowed them free reign of the city’s streets and has even professed sympathy for some of their causes.
At the same time, Wheeler has blasted the presence of federal law enforcement personnel and demanded President Donald Trump pull his “troops” from Portland.
Over the course of the so-called “listening session, “Wheeler was booed by the mob, called a “f—ing fascist” and met with a chant of “Tear Gas Ted has got to go!”
Realizing that he was indeed not on friendly turf, the mayor’s security detail whisked him away. As he made his escape, reports say some in the mob chucked bottles and other objects at Wheeler. Then, federal officers unloaded a volley of tear gas.
Talk about a double whammy.
“I’m not gonna lie, it stings, it’s hard to breathe,” Wheeler said in a video tweeted by reporter Mike Baker of The New York Times. “Man, uh, I can tell you with 100 percent honesty, I saw nothing that provoked this response. It’s absolutely stunning. I’m not afraid, but I am pissed off.”
A reporter on the scene contradicted the mayor’s claim that nothing “provoked” the feds’ response.
Journalist Andy Ngo tweeted: “.@tedwheeler says, “I saw nothing that provoked this response” when asked about his thoughts on federal law enforcement deploying tear gas. The building had been set on fire and rioters were throwing explosives.”
Freelance journalist Sergio Olmos tweeted that the rioters had yelled various profanities at Wheeler, including, “You’re a f—ing coward!” and “Get the f— out of here!”
As Wheeler was shuttled to a building, his security team scuffled with rioters who got in the mayor’s face, yelled expletives and kicked at the door, which his security team could be seen on video struggling to close.
“F— you. F—ing p—ies,” members of the mob yelled in video posted on social media. Another rioter yelled, “See you tomorrow night, huh?”