Playboy’s White House correspondent Brian Karem blamed chaos in Portland on President Trump, tweeting “the rest of us will have to clean it up.”
Karem responded to a tweet from Trump in which the president slammed the liberal city that has seen sometimes violent protests for nearly 100 straight days. Mayor Ted Wheeler refused Trump’s offer to send federal law enforcement to the city to control downtown protests on Friday, and by Saturday things turned deadly as clashes between a massive pro-Trump caravan and protesters left one person dead in a shooting.
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“Portland is a mess, and it has been for many years,” Trump wrote. “If this joke of a mayor doesn’t clean it up, we will go in and do it for them!”
Karem quickly responded to his nearly 300,000 followers.
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“You made the mess @realDonaldTrump and the rest of us will have to clean it up,” Karem wrote.
Karem had grown notorious for heated confrontations with Trump and members of his administration and regularly criticized the president. He had his hard pass suspended following an altercation with former White House aide Sebastian Gorka during a conservative social media summit in the Rose Garden last year.
“Karem’s title at Playboy is ‘senior White House correspondent,’ but he’s really an anti-Trump commentator,” Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi recently wrote.
Earlier this year, Trump called Karem a “loudmouth” during a coronavirus press briefing.
“I told them when they put this guy here, it’s nothing but trouble,” Trump said about Karem. “He’s a showboat. If you keep talking, I’ll leave and you can have it out with the rest of these people. If you keep talking, I’m going to leave and you can have it out with them.”
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Karem’s latest anti-Trump tweet echoes Wheeler, who also blamed Trump for his city’s violence during a press conference on Sunday.
Trump previously sent federal agents to Portland to guard the U.S. courthouse, but Democratic politicians in Oregon denounced the agents’ aggressive tactics and demanded they leave.
The nightly protests in Portland have turned violent on multiple occasions, resulting in injuries to both protesters and law enforcement, property damage, dozens of criminal charges and at least one death.
Portland has seen more than 90 nights of continued protests and rioting in the downtown area and other parts of the city since May 25, when George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Brie Stimson contributed to this report.