“Portland, the sheriff just came out today, and he said, I support President Trump,” Trump said.
Mike Reese ― sheriff of Multnomah County, Oregon, which includes Portland ― tweeted:
In tonight’s presidential debate the President said the “Portland Sheriff” supports him. As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him.— Mike Reese (@SheriffReese) September 30, 2020
Portland has become a focal point for protests, which have erupted in violence between pro-Trump factions and anti-Trump demonstrators. One member of a right-wing group was shot to death earlier this month. The suspect, who had described himself as “100% ANTIFA,” was later shot and killed by law enforcement.
Although Trump has attempted to claim the “law and order” mantle, ex-White House aide Kellyanne Conway admitted in August that the violence helps the president.
“The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order,” she said on Fox News.
Biden referred to those comments during the debate. Trump claimed she never said them, but the video remains online. The former vice president said Trump was trying to “rile everything up” and instigate clashes in Portland and elsewhere.
“He just pours gasoline on the fire, constantly, every single, solitary time,” Biden said.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.