Chad Wolf, the acting director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has faced criticism from Democrats since taking the position last year — and it is likely only to increase in the wake of his latest announcement.
In a recent interview with Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson, Wolf said that his agency, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice (DJ) and Attorney General William Barr, is now investigating the far-left agitators believed to be responsible for a surge in violence and destruction in cities across the nation.
“At this since early July”
The Trump administration has made it clear in recent months that those who participate in criminal behavior or incite riots will be identified and held accountable.
This week’s announcement builds on that promise after both Barr and President Donald Trump traveled on Tuesday to Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in that city last month sparked the latest round of civil unrest.
“The Department has been at this since early July, particularly in Portland, addressing some of this violent rioting and looting that was occurring in anarchists targeting a federal building in Portland,” Wolf said in response to critics who claim the Trump administration is responsible for the sustained protests, according to Fox.
“I think most reasonable Americans understand what’s going on out there,” he added. “And really the cause of all this is local officials, state officials not taking this seriously enough from day one.”
“We expected matters to get worse”
Wolf went on to tell Carlson that authorities have evidence that leftist groups are traveling to Kenosha from other parts of the country in an apparent effort to incite discord and violence.
“The Department of Justice is also targeting and investigating the head of these organizations, the individuals that are paying for these individuals to move across the country,” he said. “What we know, Tucker, is that we have seen groups and individuals move from Portland to other parts of the country.”
Barr made a similar pronouncement during a roundtable discussion with law enforcement and other local leaders in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
“And the President directed me to assemble a group of federal law enforcement that could be dispatched here, which we did, and staged them in Chicago,” the attorney general said. “And we were picking up information that these violent instigators were coming to Kenosha. They were coming from California, Washington State, a lot from Chicago, and they were coming up to Kenosha. So we expected matters to get worse.”
As Election Day draws near, undecided voters who are concerned about safety within their own communities are likely to see this tough approach to outside agitators as a reason to support another term for the Trump administration.