McCarthy claims protests in Louisville, other cities are ‘planned, orchestrated events’
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is seeking to paint antifa, the far-left antifascist movement, as an organized group that is behind the violence breaking out in U.S. cities amid social and racial unrest.
In a Thursday interview with Fox News, McCarthy was asked about protests that turned violent in Louisville, Ky., and he sought to make claims about antifa that directly contradict the recent testimony of President Trump’s top law enforcement officer.
“What is going on from Portland, Chicago, to New York and now in Louisville? That these are planned, orchestrated events, that people cannot be safe and secure in their own streets,” McCarthy on “Fox & Friends.”
McCarthy, pointing to a video of protesters pulling out painted signs from a U-Haul truck that said “Abolish the Pol(ice)” and “Abolition Now” in Louisville, suggested there was coordination at this protest.
“You probably saw the video of the U-Haul truck being unloaded with shields and riot gear and anti-police signs. There’s the video right there. It looks like this was coordinated — this particular protest,” said McCarthy added.
The protests came after a grand jury in Kentucky decided not to indict any of the three officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. One now-former officer was charged with wanton endangerment for allegedly firing shots that entered an apartment adjacent to Taylor’s.
And McCarthy, once prompted by Fox News hosts, began questioning whether there is a funding stream that led demonstrators to acquire riot gear like shields.
“Who is funding this? You can’t just supply with this type of armor without resources, without funding. Where is that funding coming from and why is it being used? How are these people knowing to come? Are there training facilities that are teaching these people how to do this?” McCarthy said.
McCarthy joined Trump and his allies in dismissing the characterization FBI Director Christopher Wray gave of antifa while testifying under oath last week, in which he denied that antifa was an organization but rather a movement or ideology.
“We look at antifa as more of an ideology or a movement than we do an organization. We do have quite a number of properly predicated domestic terrorism investigations into violent anarchist extremists, any number of whom self-identify with the antifa movement,” Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee as part of its worldwide threats hearing.
“Antifa is a real thing. It’s not a fiction,” Wray said of the far-left movement.
The FBI chief also said that some who identify with the antifa movement have been coalescing regionally in certain areas and that the FBI is examining potential violence from these small groups or nodes.
McCarthy described antifa as a “grave concern” that the FBI should be “focused on.”
The inquiry into antifa comes as Trump and members of his administration have sought to attribute violence and vandalism by protesters in Portland, Ore., and other U.S. cities to the movement. Democrats, meanwhile, have sought to downplay antifa’s role in the violence.
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