President Donald Trump announced on July 27 that his administration may declare the far-left extremist group Antifa “a major organization of terror.”
“Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others). Would make it easier for police to do their job!” Trump wrote on Twitter on July 27.
Trump’s announcement comes after Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) proposed a resolution in the Senate to condemn the acts of violence carried out by members of Antifa and to label the group as a domestic terrorist organization.
The senators proposed the resolution following Antifa members’ brutal assault on independent journalist Andy Ngo late last month. Ngo, who is known for extensively documenting Antifa violence, was punched in the face, kicked, and had cups of a white substance thrown at him while he was covering one of the group’s protests in Portland, Oregon. Portland police later said the cups contained quick-drying cement mixed into milkshakes.
The attack left Ngo bloodied and bruised with a torn ear lobe and a brain hemorrhage. He was required to stay in a hospital overnight due to the brain bleed. In a video after the attack, the journalist, who was shaken and covered in the white liquid, said his attackers had also stolen his camera equipment.
“Antifa is a terrorist organization composed of hateful, intolerant radicals who pursue their extreme agenda through aggressive violence,” Cruz said in a statement on July 19.
“Time and time again their actions have demonstrated that their central purpose is to inflict harm on those who oppose their views. Like any terrorist organization they choose to pursue their political ends through violence, fear and intimidation. They must be stopped. I am proud to introduce this resolution with Senator Cassidy to properly identify what Antifa are: domestic terrorists.”
Rich Valdes, the associate producer of the Mark Levin show and host of “This is America,” responded to Trump’s Twitter post on July 27, calling on Trump to “stop their violence and intimidation before they become like F.A.L.N. and the Weather Underground.”
He explained that he thinks Antifa needs to be stopped because they use “violence and intimidation toward an entire segment of our population in order to overpower the political speech of independent-thinking conservatives.”
“Wearing masks, carrying pipes as flagpoles, and pepper-spraying journalists and dissenters goes way beyond claiming free speech. They are troublemakers, terrorizing people and they’re looking for a fight. They, by definition, are domestic terrorists,” he said.
Antifa’s origins can be traced back to the “anti-fascist” movement in Germany, which was part of the Soviet Union’s front operations to incite a communist revolution in the European country. In the United States, the group claims that its members are fighting fascism, but rarely do they confront actual fascists. Instead, their members, who are made up of communists, socialists, and other hard-left radicals, label parties and individuals who don’t align with their ideology as “fascists” to justify its use of violence against them.
The group has frequently made headlines for its violent attacks on opposing groups, particularly Trump supporters, whom they have branded as “fascists.”
Trump has previously criticized the group calling them “bad people” and “evil” at his North Carolina rally on July 17.
“These are bad people. These are sick, bad people. These are bad people,” he told the crowd.
“They don’t get the bad press, the press doesn’t want to talk to them. They are very evil: they are hitting people over the head with sticks, I mean bats even. They’re whacking people with bats,” he added.
The president noted that Antifa members are often young and favor wearing masks to help evade identification by law enforcement when they commit crimes, such as assault or destruction of property.
“They’re very brave, they always show up with the mask and they’re covered, because then they go home to mom and dad, they don’t want mom and dad to know where they were,” the president said.
Ivan Pentchoukov and NTD reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.