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Pentagon Chief Latest to Decry Use of ‘Secret Police’ in Portland

A major showdown between the Pentagon and the White House could be just over the horizon.

The use of unidentifiable paramilitary forces to round up protesters in Portland, Oregon has been a hot topic in our nation’s capital as of late, with a bipartisan cadre of elected and appointed officials condemning the tactic.

Footage circulating on social media in recent days depicts a number of masked, camouflaged, and badge-less “troops”, (for lack of a more accurate term), detaining protesters without so much as a word, and tossing them into unmarked rental cars before speeding off into the night.

The practice has drawn criticism from a diverse group of lawmakers, induing Senator Rand Paul and House Rep. Jerry Nadler – two men who do not often see eye to eye.

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The list of government officials who are expressing concern continues to grow as well, with Defense Secretary Mark Esper becoming the latest to speak up.

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper has expressed “concern” within the Trump administration about federal agents dressing up in military uniforms while handling protests and riots in places like Portland, Ore., chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said Tuesday.

“We want a system where people can tell the difference,” he told reporters.

Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler had stern words as well:

“Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city,” Wheeler said Friday. “The words and actions from President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security have shown that this is an attack on our democracy.”

The President’s team has repeatedly defended the tactic, pushing back against the criticisms which are raining down from both sides of the aisle.

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