At a press conference on Thursday, Attorney General Bill Barr called out the radical “extremist groups” that have been fomenting riots in many cities. What’s more, he alleged that some of them come from beyond America’s shores.
According to the Daily Caller, Barr said Thursday that “extremist agitators” are “hijacking” protests across the U.S. over the recent death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody “to pursue their own separate and violent agenda” — and “foreign actors” are egging them on.
Barr said Thursday that he wanted to make a “distinction between three different sets of actors here.”
“The large preponderance of those who are protesting are peaceful demonstrators who are exercising their First Amendment rights,” Barr said in video shared by the Daily Caller. “At some demonstrations, however, there are groups that exploit the opportunity to engage in such crimes as looting,” the AG added.
But that’s not all. Barr said the Department of Justice (DOJ) also has “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,” he said before vowing that the DOJ “is working to restore order in the District of Columbia and around the nation.”
Evidence of Antifa?
Of course, Barr is far from only one to identify Antifa as being one source of the chaos. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump declared that he was designating the far-left group as a terrorist entity, according to Mercury News.
Some state authorities are also naming the group as a culprit. One of them is Col. Steve McCraw, who serves as director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
A Dallas–Ft. Worth CBS affiliate quoted McCraw as telling reporters at a press conference on Thursday that “there’s evidence of Antifa” operating in the area. What’s more, the Texas lawman identified Antifa actors as being among those responsible for a recent attack on a Target outlet in Austin.
“The protest and looting of Target in Austin that was done and organized by an Antifa web page and of course, the surveillance that was provided over the internet identifying where law enforcement resources were staged, was done over Antifa accounts,” he said, according to CBS DFW.
Barr indicated Thursday that the federal government will be working closely with state and local authorities to crack down on those who are taking advantage of the peaceful protests.
Take a look at Barr’s full presser, courtesy of WTRF 7 News: