In a stunning announcement Thursday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the Trump administration has evidence that not only are radical Left-wing elements leading the ongoing looting and rioting around the country, but they are being encouraged and influenced by “foreign actors.”
“While many have peacefully expressed their anger and grief, others have hijacked protests to engage in lawlessness – violent rioting, arson, looting of businesses, and public property, assaults on law enforcement officers and innocent people, and even the murder of a federal agent. Such senseless acts of anarchy are not exercises of First Amendment rights,” Barr said
“They are crimes, designed to terrify fellow citizens and intimidate communities. As I told the governors on Monday, we understand the distinction between three different sets of actors here,” Barr continued.
“The large preponderance of those who are protesting are peaceful demonstrators who are exercising their First Amendment rights,” he added.
“At some demonstrations, however, there are groups that exploit the opportunity to engage in such crimes as looting. Finally, at some demonstrations, there are extremist agitators who are hijacking the protests to pursue their own separate and violent agenda,” the attorney general noted further.
“We have evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions, have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity, and we are also seeing foreign actors playing all sides to exacerbate the violence. The Department of Justice is working to restore order in the District of Columbia and around the nation,” he said.
The full press conference is below, but AG Barr speaks first. Watch:
The shocking news comes on the heels of an announcement Sunday that President Donald Trump was preparing to designate Antifa a domestic terrorist organization.
While most protests around the country to call attention to the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police last week have been peaceful, Barr noted that others continue to be influenced by outside nefarious elements. As to the “foreign actors,” Barr did not elaborate.
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