Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was tear gassed by federal agents at a Wednesday night demonstration in Oregon as President Trump vowed to send a "surge" of government forces into cities across the country.
The Democratic mayor sputtered and coughed as he wiped his reddened eyes.
“I’m not going to lie — it stings. It's hard to breathe,” Wheeler told a New York Times journalist. “And I can tell you with 100 percent honesty, I saw nothing which provoked this response.”
The 57-year-old politician was near the front line of protesters on the 55th night of city demonstrations against racial violence. City officials have loudly criticized the recent arrival of unidentified, armed federal agents dispatched by the Trump administration.
The president has called for "law and order" against recent spikes in crime in some American cities. He vowed Wednesday to send "hundreds" more agents to Portland, as well as Albuquerque, Chicago, Kansas City, Missouri, Detroit and Cleveland.
His initiative, dubbed "Operation Legend," is reportedly named after a 4-year-old boy, LeGend Taliferro, who was fatally shot as he slept in his Kansas City home last month. The boy's mother joined the president Wednesday.
The operation uses agents from the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies.