JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Inslee baffles literally everyone with Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone answer

Jun 10, 2020, 8:50 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2020, 10:48 am

A sign denoting the newly-formed Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone near the East Precint. (Getty Images) Spraypaint denoting the "CHAZ." (Getty Images) Snacks available for crowds gathered in the CHAZ. (Nicole Jennings, KIRO Radio) A sign letting people know they're now entering "Free Capitol Hill." (Nicole Jennings, KIRO Radio) Barriers set up surrounding the CHAZ. (Nicole Jennings, KIRO Radio) Barriers were repurposed by protesters near 12th and Pine. (Nicole Jennings, KIRO Radio) Graffiti inside the CHAZ. (Hanna Scott, KIRO Radio) Free snacks and food is available for crowds gathered in Capitol Hill. (Hanna Scott, KIRO Radio) Protesters have relabeled the SPD precinct the "Seattle People Department." (Getty Images) Tents set up in Capitol Hill. (Getty Images) A crowd gathers to watch Ava DuVernay's '13th' documentary Tuesday night. (Getty Images) Barriers set up near the East Precinct. (Getty Images) A sign outside the East Precinct. (Getty Images)

Governor Jay Inslee is being widely mocked for saying he wasn’t aware of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle, his state’s largest city. This is the biggest story in the country, receiving national attention landing it on the Twitter trending list for over 24 hours.

The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (also known as Free Capitol Hill) is the six-block radius around the East Precinct in Seattle that Antifa, anarchists, and community activists are illegally occupying. Earlier in the week, the city ceded the area to fringe, violent protesters thanks to feckless leadership by Mayor Jenny Durkan.

Inslee is either flatly lying or he really has no clue about what’s happening in Seattle. Either scenario is troubling.

Seattle’s Capitol Autonomous Zone claim baffles

During a Wednesday afternoon press briefing, Inslee was asked to weigh in on the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Inslee said he had no clue what the reporter was talking about. No one could believe their ears.

“Well, that’s news to me so I’ll have to reserve any comment about that,” Inslee said before an awkward chuckle. “I have not heard anything about that, from any credible source. Not that you’re not credible, just before I espouse an opinion, I should know of which I speak.”

His response earned local and national ridicule. Even President Trump is taking notice, yet the governor isn’t?

Is he lying or is he out of touch?

It seems simply implausible that Inslee hasn’t heard about the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. If he’s that out of touch, we should all find that truly alarming.

I suspect he’s lying because he doesn’t want to get involved. Instead, he’d prefer to let Durkan handle this mess — one that should end her re-election campaign. She’s lost all control of this city and gave a portion of the city to domestic terrorist group Antifa and their-like minded criminals. And yes, the activists apparently extorting businesses in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone to give them money or conducting armed checkpoints are criminals.

But why in the world didn’t Inslee just say he’s leaving this up to local officials? Why not acknowledge he’s concerned but hopeful it can be solved peacefully?

With the President now involved, calling out Inslee and threatening federal action if it’s not handled, one thing’s for sure: Inslee can’t feign ignorance any longer.

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Rantz: Inslee baffles literally everyone with Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone answer