Keith Ellison responds to son's antifa tweet: 'A comment about the absurdity of the president's comment'

Minnesota Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonMinnesota lawmakers blast pharmaceutical industry lawsuit over insulin affordability law OVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOJ whistleblower says California emissions probe was 'abuse of authority' | EPA won't defend policy blocking grantees from serving on boards | Minnesota sues Exxon, others over climate change Minnesota sues Exxon, others over climate change MORE (D) said Monday that his son’s tweet in support of antifa was more a comment about the “absurdity” of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' MORE’s remarks blaming proponents of the anti-fascist ideology for violence at recent demonstrations across the country over the police killing of George Floyd

“I think that was a comment about the absurdity of the president’s comment more than anything else,” Ellison said Monday on CNN. 

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Minneapolis City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison tweeted on Sunday that he was declaring his “support for ANTIFA."

"Unless someone can prove to me ANTIFA is behind the burning of black and immigrant owned businesses in my ward, I’ll keep focusing on stopping the white power terrorist THE ARE ACTUALLY ATTACKING US!” the younger Ellison tweeted.

His comment included a retweet of Trump’s post announcing that he would be designating antifa a terrorist organization. 

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Keith Ellison, a former congressman and top Democratic National Committee official, said he has not seen any evidence that violence at demonstrations in Minnesota has been linked to antifa, which is an umbrella term for loosely organized far-left groups that are often militant. 

“We don't see what the president is talking about, I don't think the president sees what he's talking about,” he told CNN. 

Ellison said he will not let the comments from the president, which he said are not helpful, distract or deter him from seeking justice for Floyd.

He added that violent demonstrators are “trying to tarnish” the work of the peaceful protesters nationwide and need to be investigated. 

Trump’s announcement that he would declare antifa a terrorist organization followed a statement from Attorney General William BarrBill BarrGOP senator says Trump commuting Stone was a 'mistake' Barr recommended Trump not give Stone clemency: report Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence MORE that also blamed some of the violence carried out over the weekend on antifa. 

Barr said in a statement Sunday that the Justice Department would seek to identify “criminal organizers and instigators” amid the demonstrations. 

“The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” he said.