“Since when is it okay to try to burn down a federal court?” U.S. Attorney General William Barr asked the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
“Is that okay? Is that okay, now? No,” Barr said in his testimony defending the presence of federal marshals in Portland, Oregon during the ongoing riots, where violent mobs are using industrial-grade fireworks and kerosene-filled balloons to try to set federal property ablaze.
“The U.S. marshals have a duty to stop that and defend the courthouse - and that’s what we are doing in Portland," Barr testified.
“We are at the courthouse defending the courthouse. We’re not out looking for trouble,” Barr said.
In a tweet of a video clip of Barr’s comments, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) echoed Barr’s remarks:
“Let’s be clear. Federal police officers are not out looking for trouble. They are defending and protecting federal property.”