Trump Officially Declares Antifa a 'Terrorist Organization'
Violent far-left group is now designated a domestic terrorism operation
President Donald Trump officially declared on Sunday that the violent far-left movement known as Antifa is now designated as a terrorist group by the US Government.
"The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization," President Trump tweeted.
On Saturday Trump highlighted Antifa's role in the violent nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.
The president pointed to the domestic terror group after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz attempted to suggest that foreign influences, white supremacists, and drug cartels are fueling chaos across America.
"It's ANTIFA and the Radical Left," Trump said on Twitter, referring to the militant far-left movement, short for "anti-fascism," that is known for violence.
"Don't lay the blame on others!" he added.
Widespread looting, arson, and violence continued in Minneapolis and multiple other major cities across the U.S. on Saturday, leaving three dead and dozens more injured, according to reports.
It was the third day of such demonstrations.
The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
Echoing the president, Attorney General Bill Barr said on Saturday that "the voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by radical elements."
"Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda," Barr said in an on-camera statement.
"In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchic and far-left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics."
"It is a federal crime to cross state lines or use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting and we will enforce those laws," he added, saying that the FBI, US Marshals, DEA, ATF, and US Attorney's Offices would fully support local and state law enforcement in restoring order and cracking down on violence.
Crossing State lines to incite violence is a FEDERAL CRIME! Liberal Governors and Mayors must get MUCH tougher or the Federal Government will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020
Earlier on Saturday, Gov Walz suggested domestic terrorists or foreign influences might be subverting peaceful protests and turning them to violence.
Walz said the riots in Minneapolis had begun to resemble a "military operation" and that he was actively weighing whether to accept military and intelligence assistance from The Pentagon.
"Last night is a mockery of pretending that this is about George Floyd's death, or inequities, or historical traumas to our communities of color," said Walz, a Democrat.
"The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd, it is about attacking civil society, instilling fear, and disrupting our great cities," Walz said.
"As you saw this expand across the United States, and you start to see whether it be domestic terrorism, whether it be ideological extremists to fan the group, or whether it be international destabilization of how our country works," he continued.
On Friday night, Walz hinted that white supremacists and drug cartels may be fueling violence or taking advantage of the chaos in the rioting.
It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020
Pressed by reporters on rumors that white supremacists were secretly infiltrating Black Lives Matter protests and instigating violence, Walz said: "My suspicions and what I've seen on this, yes."
"It gets worse than that," Walz said.
"The cartels, who are wondering if there was a break in their drug transmissions, are trying to take advantage of the chaos.
"That's why this situation is on a federal level."