In the wake of pro-Trump supporters storming the Capitol Wednesday, several Republican allies of the President are attempting to shift blame to supposed left-wing activists, namely Antifa.
Reps. Mo Brooks, Paul Gosar and Matt Gaetz have all promoted the idea that left-wing extremist group Antifa snuck in with Trump supporters during the rally to provoke the mob.
“Evidence growing that fascist ANTIFA orchestrated Capitol attack with clever mob control tactics,” Brooks, an Alabama Republican, tweeted.
“This has all the hallmarks of Antifa provocation,” Gosar, an Arizona Republican, wrote.
Gaetz was more specific when he cited, on the House floor — and to loud boos from his Democratic colleagues — an article from the Washington Times, which has since been removed from their website. The article said that a facial recognition firm, XRVision, “claims Antifa infiltrated Trump protesters who stormed Capitol.”
The Florida congressman began by saying he didn’t “know if the reports are true” but went on to cite the Washington Times article, saying it contained “compelling evidence” that Antifa had infiltrated the Trump-supporting rioters’ ranks.
“(S)ome of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters,” Gaetz said. “They were masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa.”
Facts First: None of this is true. The firm cited by the Washington Times has told two news outlets the story is false. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said there is no indication, as of Friday, that Antifa infiltrated the mob. Furthermore, right-wing extremists have been identified in the crowd that stormed the Capitol and CNN has, as of the publishing of this article, seen no evidence whatsoever of a left-wing infiltration of the mob.
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