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"I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him."
That was the message from Multnomah County sheriff Mike Reese on Tuesday night after the president claimed to have the cop's backing.
"Excuse me, Portland - the sheriff just came out today and he said, 'I support president Trump,'" the commander-in-chief had said earlier at the presidential debate.
Mr Trump was being quizzed by debate moderator Chris Wallace about recent unrest in the city, following the killing in police custody of black Americans.
"If they called us in Portland, we would put out that fire in half an hour, but they won't do it because they're run by radical left Democrats," the president added.
Portland does not have a sheriff, but the Multnomah County chief represents the city's area in Oregon; it was not immediately clear if Mr Trump got his wires crossed and named the wrong official.
Regardless, Mr Reese's forthright response suggested he was keen to put clear blue water between himself and the president, who throughout his reelection run has attempted to paint Democrat cities as "out of control".
Portland has been at the centre of demonstrations in recent months, with protesters taking to the streets to demand greater race equality and an end to police brutality.
During Tuesday's debate, the first of three scheduled ahead of November's poll, the president and his challenger, Joe Biden, clashed over several key issues.
In what has been described as one of the most chaotic debates in living memory, Mr Trump sought to bully his way back into a race that he is losing, according to national polls.
— Mike Reese (@SheriffReese) September 30, 2020
He repeatedly interrupted his rival as he tried to knock the Democratic former vice president off his feet and alter the dynamic of a contest he has been losing for months.
It was unlikely the president succeeded, largely because of his own combative and chaotic behavior.
Mr Biden at times was able to squeeze in the key themes of his candidacy, that Mr Trump was unfit for a second term over his handling of the pandemic.
In a dig the president's flagging support with the critical suburban voting bloc, Mr Biden said: "He wouldn't know a suburb unless he took a wrong turn."
But Mr Trump often spoke over his rival and the morderator, making it difficult for them to say much at all.
When Mr Biden did get a chance, he made a point of addressing the camera, trying to speak directly to voters, while the president stared at him balefully.