In a Twitter message Saturday, U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw declared Saturday’s protests in Portland, Ore., “a sad showing,” and said the city’s Antifa activists paled in comparison to the demonstrators fighting for democracy in Hong Kong.
“In Hong Kong,” the Republican congressman from Texas wrote, “antifascists wave American flags, demand freedom and actually fight fascists.
“In Portland,” he continued, “ ‘antifascists’ burn American flags, demand violence in the name of socialism.”
Crenshaw, 35, is in his first term in the U.S. House after being elected last November. The former U.S. Navy SEAL served in Afghanistan and is the recipient of two Bronze Stars for heroic service and a Purple Heart after being wounded in combat.
On Saturday, demonstrators from both left-wing and right-wing groups converged in Portland, Ore., the scene of numerous violent confrontations in the past.
As of Saturday evening, the city’s mayor was declaring the day’s events “largely peaceful,”with 13 arrests and a small number of minor injuries reported.
Members of the Proud Boys and other conservative groups have argued that Antifa protesters have instigated violence at their events, but have often escaped prosecution because many of their members keep their faces covered during attacks.
In July, the city’s police chief called for new laws against wearing masks during such protests.
“We cannot allow people to continue to use the guise of free speech to commit a crime,” Chief Danielle Outlaw said.
On Saturday, President Trump threatened to push for Antifa to be declared a terror organization.
In July, Crenshaw accused Democratic U.S. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., of using the U.S.-Mexico border crisis as a stage for criticizing President Trump rather than for proposing solutions to the nation’s immigration problem.
“What they really want is more commissions … more investigations they can point to, to call the president evil,” Crenshaw said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” “That’s what they want.”
In June, Crenshaw went after Democratic U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, accusing her of “literally repeating the lies of the Iranian regime” after she asserted that President Trump was trying to provoke a conflict with Iran.