FBI: No evidence of antifa involvement in Capitol riots
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) - Despite suggestions from conservative pundits and some Republican members of Congress, there is no evidence that anti-fascist activists were involved in the pro-Trump Capitol riots, FBI Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono said on a call with reporters Friday.
“We have no indication of that, at this time,” D’Antuono said when asked whether antifa activists had disguised themselves as Trump supporters in an effort to frame them for the violent riots in which five people died, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
Immediately following the violence on Wednesday, conspiracy theorists, radical conservative activists and Trump allies took to social media and conservative news networks to make the evidence-free claim that antifa was behind the riots, reviving old rumors about anti-fascist activists long used in Trump campaign fundraising advertisements.
The false claims of antifa involvement in Wednesday’s melee spread early on social media from longtime Trump supporters, including televangelist Mark Burns and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. By evening, the rumors were being floated on Fox News and Fox Business Network by Sarah Palin and Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.
Late Wednesday evening, during the continuation of the certification, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., also used his time to promote a poorly sourced and later-retracted report to claim antifa was “masquerading as Trump supporters.”
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