Trump released a bizarre memo targeting 'antifa' late on Tuesday, but he totally ignored the white supremacists turning on the police and starting street fights the same night.
Donald Trump on Tuesday night released an out-of-the-blue memo instructing his administration to consider labeling antifa a "terrorist organization" — moments before white supremacist Trump supporters descended upon the District of Columbia to carry out the same kind of violence and attacks on police Trump says he condemns.
"The violence spurred on by Antifa — such as hurling projectiles and incendiary devices at police, burning vehicles, and violently confronting police in defiance of local curfews — is dangerous to human life and to the fabric of our Nation," reads a memo the White House sent at 9:24 p.m. Tuesday night. "These violent acts undermine the rights of peaceful protestors and destroy the lives, liberty, and property of the people of this Nation, especially those most vulnerable."
Just an hour after the memo was sent, video posted to social media showed the far-right extremist group Proud Boys — who are in Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's landslide victory — actively confronting the police.
Pro-Trump far-right groups organizing the recent protests in D.C. had been threatening violence and talking about bringing weapons to their gatherings in online forums, according to a report from the Washington Post published Tuesday,
The White House did not say what sparked Trump to send his memo urging a terrorist classification for "antifa" — which experts say shouldn't be labeled a terrorist organization because it is not in fact an organized group, but rather a loose collection of groups, networks, and individuals.
Instead, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement on Tuesday night, which included the broad claim that "Antifa activists have brutally attacked our law-abiding friends, neighbors, and business owners, and destroyed historic landmarks that our communities have cherished for decades. This violence and lawlessness has no place in the United States and will be called out for the domestic terrorism that it is ... President Trump will not allow Antifa, or any terrorist organization, to destroy our great country."
Trump has been railing against antifa throughout the election, in an attempt to invent a bogeyman to rile up his base.
But he's been silent about right-wing violence, which has become the leading cause of domestic terrorism in the United States, according to a report from November.
Since Trump took office, right-wing groups and extremists have plotted to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and gotten arrested for both attempting to cause violence at racial justice rallies and carrying out mass shootings.
Yet rather than address right-wing, white supremacist violence, Trump has tried to block his administration from tackling the problem at all. In fact, he ignored officials at the Department of Homeland Security when they tried to get him to take action against the scurge of right-wing terrorism.
What's more, Trump has egged on right-wing violence, telling the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" during the first presidential debate in September.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.