On CNN Sunday morning, after several nights of antifa and Black Lives Matter-fueled violence in multiple American cities, anchor Jake Tapper asked President Trump’s national security advisor if white supremacists were using the unrest to start a race war.
“What can you tell us about any of the far-right groups that might be trying to use this as a predicate to prompt a race war as Vice News reported?” Tapper asked NSC advisor Robert O’Brien.
O’Brien didn’t take the bait, telling Tapper that the violence was in fact being driven by antifa.
The lefty blog “Vice” on Friday first promulgated the conspiracy theory that much of the violence in recent days was being driven by the far-right, saying “far-right extremists are showing up with guns to the protests against police brutality that have exploded across the country” and “others are egging on the violence from behind their computers.”
Various Democrat politicians in Minnesota and elsewhere picked up the ball on Saturday, floating the idea that right-wingers were behind the violence.
Liberal national security website Just Security also joined the fray on Saturday, suggesting that “far-right infiltrators and agitators” were causing the violence in the George Floyd “protests.”
While it’s certainly plausible that a handful of right-wing extremists are exploiting the situation to cause mischief, it’s patently obvious that the vast majority of the violence is being perpetrated by left-wing agitators.
“I have not seen those reports,” O’Brien said. “I generally don’t read Vice so I haven’t seen the reports on far-right groups.”
He added matter-of-factly: “This is being driven by antifa. They did it in Seattle, they’ve done it in Portland, they’ve done it in Berkeley.”
O’Brien went on to call the antifa agitators “a destructive force of radical” militants who are “burning American cities.”
Tapper also mentioned reports that foreign adversaries [read Russia] were trying to stoke violence through social media.
In response, O’Brien pointed out that such activity is nothing new. “We always have foreign adversaries on Twitter and Facebook and other places trying to sow discord among Americans,” he said.
He stressed that the difference between the United States and our foreign adversaries is that the U.S. will investigate Floyd’s death and prosecute those who are culpable unlike those authoritarian regimes.
President Trump on Sunday announced on Twitter that the violent “antifascist” group antifa will be designated as a terrorist organization.
The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020