Pelosi Calls Out Trump Admin Over Portland Unrest: 'We Live in a Democracy, Not a Banana Republic'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reminded President Donald Trump late Saturday that the United States is "not a banana republic," and she refused to let protesters in Portland be used as "props" in his political games.

Pelosi joined several top Oregon lawmakers in criticizing Trump administration and top federal agencies for placing faceless "stormtroopers" in Portland to quell weeks of ongoing racial injustice protests. The Democratic House leader condemned the "one-sided violence" from Department of Homeland Security agents and accused the president of utilizing "secret police" in American streets.

Pelosi, along with Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, issued a statement Saturday in response to at least one video showing heavily militarized agents -- without identification badges -- handcuffing and "kidnapping" Portland protesters. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials acknowledged in a statement last week they have agents on the ground in Portland.

"Last month, the Administration tear-gassed peaceful protestors in Washington, D.C. Now, videos show them kidnapping protestors in unmarked cars in Portland – all with the goal of inflaming tensions for their own gain. While Portland is the President's current target, any city could be next," the statement read.

"We live in a democracy, not a banana republic. We will not tolerate the use of Oregonians, Washingtonians – or any other Americans – as props in President Trump's political games. The House is committed to moving swiftly to curb these egregious abuses of power immediately," Pelosi and Blumenauer continued.

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Trump responded to Pelosi and the Oregon lawmakers Sunday morning on Twitter: "We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!"

Newsweek reached out to Pelosi and the White House for additional remarks Sunday morning.

On Friday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told Trump directly to "keep your troops in your own [federal] buildings or have them leave our city." One video, which was shared by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, showed unidentified federal agents placing a handcuffed man in an unmarked minivan before speeding off into the night.

"Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters. These Trump/Barr tactics designed to eliminate any accountability are absolutely unacceptable in America, and must end," Merkley responded to the incident.

Pelosi continued labeling the federal officers in Portland and other U.S. cities as "stormtroopers," which is a reference to both the faceless Star Wars and Nazi Germany military units used to do their respective leader's bidding.

"Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti. These are not the actions of a democratic republic.@DHSgov's actions in Portland undermine its mission. Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped," Pelosi remarked on Twitter Friday.

Protests over racial inequality and police brutality have continued in the city of Portland for the past 50 nights. Oregon Democratic Governor Kate Brown also issued a direct ultimatum to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Trump Saturday, saying that federal troops should only be in the city to protect federal property.

Nancy Pelosi
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center July 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. Pelosi said that House Democrats want to get children and teachers safely back in the classroom but that would not be possible without President Donald Trump using the Defense Production Act to make more equipment to protect people from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/Getty
Pelosi Calls Out Trump Admin Over Portland Unrest: 'We Live in a Democracy, Not a Banana Republic' | Politics