The mayor of Portland, Oregon, claimed that he was out of the country on a “wildlife tour” at the same time as the Antifa protests that saw conservative journalist Andy Ngo beaten by protesters, FOX 12 in Oregon reported.
On Wednesday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D-Ore.) appeared to distance himself from the recent protests in the city by Antifa and the far-right group The Proud Boys, which turned violent when Ngo was beaten and reportedly had a milkshake mixed with concrete thrown at his head while he was covering the demonstrations.
In response to the attack, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced a resolution to the Senate calling for Antifa to be labeled a “domestic terrorists,” as IJR Red previously reported.
Wheeler said that he “wasn’t even in the United States” at the time of the protests and was instead on a “wildlife tour” with his family in South America.
“I thought it was beneath a United States senator,” the mayor said, referring to Cruz’s resolution. “The truth is, I wasn’t even here. I wasn’t even in the United States. I was with my family in Ecuador on a wildlife tour.”
He went on to say that there is a “unified incident command center” that was “engaged” during the protests and that there is an “incident commander” such as “the police chief.”
“One of the things I would like the public to know is there is a unified incident command center that’s engaged during these demonstrations. There is an incident commander, certainly the police chief.”
As mayor of Portland, Wheeler also acts as the city’s police commissioner.
The president of the Portland Police Association Daryl Turner called on Wheeler to “remove the handcuffs from our officers and let them stop the violence through strong and swift enforcement action” and blamed the mayor for the lack of police at the protest.
Ngo had been reporting on the protests when he was attacked and suffered a brain bleed because of it.
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) June 29, 2019
As IJR Red noted, Ngo’s attorney — Harmeet K. Dhillon — promised to sue the protesters who attacked the journalist “into oblivion.”