This comes as Trump has blamed Antifa for riots taking place across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died May 25 while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minn., after an officer kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes in an incident caught on video.
“The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.
It remains unclear exactly who was behind the escalation what began as peaceful protests against police, with accusations lobbed against both far-left extremists and white nationalists. The president has been forceful in pointing the finger at the former.
“It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!” Trump tweeted Saturday.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was less decisive in stating who is behind the looting, arson, and violence that has taken place. While he called rioters “Antifa-like” during an appearance on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” he said, “I think it still remains to be seen exactly how” the situation devolved from peaceful protests to something entirely different.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told “Fox News Sunday” he has evidence that people from out-of-state were involved in violent behavior in Minneapolis, but he did not specify whether they were affiliated with any particular group or ideology.
A resolution to designate Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization was introduced in the Senate in 2019, stating that Antifa “represents opposition to the democratic ideals of peaceful assembly and free speech for all[.]”
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and co-sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, came in response to threats and actions Antifa-affiliated individuals made against ICE officials and journalist Andy Ngo.