Marie Harf claimed Friday that President Donald Trump would like to see violence escalate for political reasons, saying that he could use it to “make campaign ads.”
Harf, who appeared on Fox News’ “Outnumbered,” took a page from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler’s playbook, repeating claims that he made during Tuesday’s hearing with Attorney General William Barr. (RELATED: ‘Shame On You!’ — Nadler Gets Fiery, Scolds Barr During Hearing)
Harf, like a number of Democrats at Barr’s hearing, argued that the presence of federal law enforcement officers was only exacerbating the issue in cities where violence had become a problem. (RELATED: ‘It’s A Yes Or No Question’: Harris Faulkner Challenges Marie Harf To Name One Republican-Led City Experiencing Violence Similar To Portland)
Host Melissa Francis said that there were those who had suggested that lawlessness could work in President Donald Trump’s favor, asking, “Are Democrats worried that that is possibly the case?”
“Well, that is certainly what President Trump hopes,” Harf replied, adding, “That’s why he is focusing on what is happening in a very small radius of a city that is overwhelmingly peaceful.”
Harf went on to argue that the way to quell the violence in cities was to focus on de-escalation rather than bringing in tactical forces. Citing a mostly-peaceful night in Portland following the drawdown of federal officers, Harf suggested that Trump might have preferred to see things go the other direction.
“That is how you de-escalate. The federal troops that President Trump sent in, I think actually he wanted to escalate so he could use it politically and make campaign ads out of it,” Harf said. “Last night we saw how you de-escalate the situation, and that is what cities should look to for a model.”
Francis turned to Fox Business host Lisa Kennedy, saying, “Kennedy, that is quite a charge, Marie saying the president wanted to escalate and cause violence around this courthouse. That that was his goal, that’s what he set out to do. That is quite a charge. What do you think?”
“I hope that’s not true. I hope that the president, for political gain, wouldn’t put businesses and individuals in jeopardy in a beautiful city in order to win reelection,” Kennedy replied, noting that the riots and violence had been going on in places like Portland long before federal law enforcement had been deployed to assist.