U.S. President Donald Trump claimed Sunday morning that he would soon be designating Antifa as a terrorist organization amid the violence of the George Floyd protests.
Before the declaration, Trump tweeted about the protests and riots in Minnesota, as well as his belief that Antifa is behind the chaos in the state.
"The ANTIFA led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly. Should have been done by Mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!" Trump said, again taking aim at Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey for his handling of the protests.
"Other Democrat run Cities and States should look at the total shutdown of Radical Left Anarchists in Minneapolis last night," Trump tweeted Sunday morning. "The National Guard did a great job, and should be used in other States before it is too late!"Trump's comments come after Attorney General William Barr suggested that Antifa and anarchists are the culprits behind the chaos of the protests, NBC News reported. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien also backed this narrative on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, although he hesitated to associate them with the left.
"This is a destructive force of radical — I don't even know if we want to call them leftists," he said, calling them "militants" who are "burning our cities."
According to Fox News, it's still unclear precisely who sparked the violence amid the protests. Along with Trump, Fox News investigate reporter Bill Melugin accused Antifa of being behind the attacks on journalists. His claim appeared to be supported by former British Army counterterrorism officer and security consultant Adam Leggat, who said intelligence reports suggest that most of the violent protestors are far-left anarchists.Elsewhere, Minnesota officials claimed this weekend that they believe white nationalists from outside the state are fueling violence. According to Courthouse News Service, John Harrington, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Safety, claimed that officials are also investigating posting from white supremacist groups, which are allegedly encouraging members to use the protests to spread chaos.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and state Gov. Tim Walz initially estimated that every person arrested on Friday was from out of the state but later walked back the statement.
According to Krystal Ball, the narrative that agitators from outside Minneapolis are responsible for the violence is an attempt to undermine the country's unrest. Award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald also suggested that the narrative of outside actors is a false one that was pushed by Minnesota officials and amplified via media pundits. Additionally, he vehemently disagreed with Trump's proposal to designate Antifa a terrorist organization.