The Trump administration has sent federal agents into Portland, Oregon, and has suggested sending them to other cities in what it claims is an attempt to quell violent protests there. But Tom Ridge, a former two-term Republican governor of Pennsylvania who former President George W. Bush tapped as the first DHS head, told Sirius XM host Michael Smerconish on Tuesday that’s not what DHS is meant to do.
“The department was established to protect America from the ever-present threat of global terrorism. It was not established to be the president’s personal militia,” Ridge said, alluding to the department’s creation after the 9/11 attacks. Ridge did say he would “welcome the opportunity to work with any federal agency to reduce crime or lawlessness in the cities” if he were governor. But “it would be a cold day in hell before I would consent to an uninvited, unilateral intervention into one of my cities,” he added, specifically calling out how the federal authorities were unwelcome in Portland.