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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

How Pro-Trump Forces Pushed a Lie About Antifa at the Capitol Riot

Ms. Ingraham, who advised Fox News viewers about “antifa sympathizers” at the riot, later shared on Twitter that the Washington Times article she cited had been debunked; she didn’t situation an on-air correction. Mr. Herman, the Limbaugh visitor host who speculated about antifa, wrote in an electronic mail on Saturday that “it was clear a large group of Trump supporters entered the Capitol and assaulted people.” But he continued to claim, falsely, that antifa activists had plotted to impersonate Trump supporters.

Of the 290 individuals who have been charged in the assault, at least 27 are recognized to have ties to far-right extremist teams like the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys. Others have hyperlinks to neo-Confederate and white supremacist entities, or are clear supporters of the conspiracy motion QAnon. The overwhelming majority expressed a fervent perception that Mr. Trump was the election’s rightful winner.

On Jan. 8, the F.B.I. mentioned there was no proof that supporters of antifa, who’ve been recognized to aggressively counterprotest white supremacist demonstrations, had participated in the Capitol mob. And on Jan. 13, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House minority chief, spoke at Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial and declared, “Some say the riots were caused by antifa. There’s absolutely no evidence of that, and conservatives should be the first to say so.”

But the subsequent day, the arrest of a protester named John Sullivan prompted one more surge in right-wing media about antifa and the riot.

Mr. Sullivan known as himself an “activist” from Utah and CNN launched him, inaccurately, as a “left-wing activist” when he appeared on the community on Jan. 6. (He had offered footage to CNN and different information retailers that confirmed the taking pictures of Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who died inside the Capitol.) The conspiracy website Gateway Pundit and Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, seized on Mr. Sullivan’s arrest to once more blame antifa in posts that collected tens of hundreds of likes and shares on Facebook and Twitter.

In actuality, Mr. Sullivan was an consideration seeker whose politics had been fungible and seemingly shifted primarily based on which protest he was attending at the time, in line with activists from Seattle, Salt Lake City and Portland, Ore., who had issued warnings about him months earlier than the Capitol riot.

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