Portland, Oregon, mayor hit with tear gas deployed by federal agents

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler was hit with tear gas as he stood with a crowd of people protesting President Donald Trump's decision to send federal agents to their city, multiple news outlets are reporting.

According to The Associated Press, the incident occurred Wednesday night as federal agents deployed the gas at demonstrators gathered outside a federal courthouse in Portland. It was unclear whether the agents were aware that Wheeler, a Democrat, had joined the demonstrators, the AP reported.

While reacting to the tear gas, Wheeler told a New York Times correspondent that he wasn't aware of anything protesters had done to provoke such a response.

"I'm not going to lie: It stings," Wheeler, who tried to block the gas by donning a pair of googles, told the newspaper. "It's hard to breathe."

He added that the move was an "egregious overreation" and "urban warfare," according to the Times.

Although Wheeler has spoken out against the federal agents' deployment in Portland, protesters have criticized him for not stopping his own local police officers from using tear gas, the AP reported. Many demonstrators shouted and jeered at Wheeler as he joined them Wednesday, according to the news agency.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced that they also were sending federal agents to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, the AP reported.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.