The Trump administration really wants you to believe that a group of “organized,” “radical-left,” “terrorists” called antifa are largely responsible for the property damage and violence that accompanied some of the demonstrations immediately after George Floyd’s death.
But the rumors of antifa violence and looting — in some cases intentionally spread by white nationalists — have actually exacerbated real threats and violence across the country. Right wing vigilantes targeting nonexistent antifa members have threatened peaceful Black Live Matter protesters, as well as random citizens going about their lives.
At multiple peaceful protests, heavily armed counterprotesters have arrived spurred by false stories of “antifa buses.” A family on a camping trip at Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula was terrorized by armed men after they were mistaken for “antifa,” and two door-to-door salesmen in Larimer County, Colorado, were held at gunpoint after falsely being accused of being antifa.
Trump hasn’t had much to say about that. But despite zealous fact-checking of his claims, he and top officials in his administration have continued to double down on claiming antifa is an imminent threat to the country.
Cover: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building after watching the successful launch of a Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)