PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The presence of federal agents on the streets of Portland, Oregon, has given new momentum to protests that had begun to devolve into smaller, chaotic crowds.

Sending in federal agents against the will of local officials has set up the potential for a constitutional crisis.

It could escalate because President Donald Trump says he plans to send federal agents to other cities.

Demonstrations that had shrunk to fewer than 100 people in Portland have swelled to more than 1,000.

On Tuesday, the head of the Department of Homeland Security said the agency has clear authority to protect government property and detain people suspected of threatening personnel or damaging that property.

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