Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese became an unwitting star of Tuesday night's presidential debate, when President Donald Trump incoherently asserted that the "Portland sheriff" had endorsed his reelection bid.
Reese within minutes took to social media and debunked the president's claim. "I have never supported Donald Trump and I will never support him," he wrote.
In fact, as WW has exclusively learned, Reese had already made a contribution to a presidential campaign. On July 6, he donated $500 to Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden.
Today, he doubled down on that contribution, giving the Biden campaign another $500.
"I don't normally weigh into presidential politics," Reese tells WW, "but last night I was dragged in. And it makes my job a hell of a lot harder."
Trump's lies during last night's debate included the claim that he'd received support from the "Portland sheriff." The false claim came as Trump challenged Biden on his support from law enforcement.
"He has no law enforcement support," said Trump.
"That's not true," said Biden.
"Almost no law enforcement support," said Trump.
"That's not true."
"Name one group that supports you."
Biden failed to name him—but he could have name-checked Reese.
Today Reese, a longtime Democrat, doubled that donation. He says both contributions are on behalf of him and his wife, Cindy.
"I support strong, ethical leadership, and I think that's what we'll get from the Biden-Harris campaign," he tells WW. "I want to focus on civility, leadership, and moving our country forward—and our community here forward."
It also won't hurt Reese on moving domestic peace forward.
Last night in his Twitter response, Reese wrote: "Donald Trump has made my job a hell of a lot harder since he started talking about Portland, but I never thought he'd try to turn my wife against me!"
Today, he added in an interview: "I'm glad she didn't hit me with a shoe."