Federal assistance is available for states and cities that need it to help stop the violence that has been growing, including rioting and looting, but they must ask for it. If they don't, the increases in violence are "by choice," acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Monday.
"This is about law and order, and the president has been very clear," Wolf said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "We are here to help them. I think any city that is having increases in violence is burning, is having the rioting and looting, it's by choice at this point. Those local elected officials are making a choice to keep their cities very unsafe and dangerous. The president has been very clear we are here to support. We are here to provide resources and do that at their request."
Wolf added that when governments talk about defunding the police or take that move, it encourages "criminals or violent opportunists."
"A lot of these metropolitan cities are really pushing to defund the police, restrict their budgets, reduce the number of police officers and law enforcement officers that are on the streets, and I think it's having a very dangerous effect," said Wolf. "I think you are seeing that in a number of these cities."
He added that the Department of Homeland Security is working with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice concerning the continuing destruction of the nation's monuments.
"What we saw in Portland over the weekend is also very, very disturbing," he said. "We had about 700 to 750 individuals targeting and assaulting law enforcement there. The DHS, along with the U.S. Marshal Service, was able to repel them."
Meanwhile, the issue is no longer about peaceful protesting, but about angry mobs taking over certain cities, said Wolf.
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