MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace on Wednesday blamed supporters of President Donald Trump for instigating violence on the streets of Portland.
"He's playing to harden his faction of the electorate, to make them more mad, more afraid, more frothed up than they were four years ago, if you can fathom what that might look like," Wallace said. "I think we're seeing it on the streets of Portland and other places."
Portland has experienced nearly 100 consecutive days of violent riots led by left-wing activists in the wake of George Floyd's death. Last week anti-police activists broke into City Hall, set fire to a police association building, and assaulted officers in what the police declared a riot.
Some right-wing activists arrived in the city over the weekend, resulting in clashes with left-wing protesters without significant police intervention. A member of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer was shot and killed during the confrontation. An Antifa agitator is under investigation for the shooting.
Portland mayor Ted Wheeler (D.) called for an end to street violence this week after allowing the violence to proceed for months. Rioters set a fire outside his condominium complex on Monday night, causing Wheeler to announce he is moving. The Portland police chief called on local officials to do more to stop the rioting.
Wallace went on to argue that Trump is stoking division and is not attempting to expand his vote share beyond his own base. She said he wants to delegitimize enough of the vote as possible to "fog up" the election.
"He's seeking to make it harder to mail in absentee ballots. He's seeking to delegitimize whatever mail-in vote does come in. He's taken anything he can get from Vladimir Putin," she said.