Commentary: Trump and Supporters Say Antifa Did It, but That’s Not What the FBI Says

(Associated Press)

By David M. Greenwald

Ever since the Capitol Riots occurred last Wednesday, President Trump and his supporters have blamed “Antifa people” for storming the Capitol.  But the FBI, Kevin McCarthy and an exhaustive report from the Associated Press make it clear that the vast majority of those involved were MAGA, committed Trumpists along with QAnon and some Proud Boys sprinkled in.

Various news agencies are reporting that President Trump most recently made the remark to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in a 30-minute phone conversation.  McCarthy who has steadfastly supported the President, nevertheless pushed back: “It’s not Antifa, it’s MAGA. I know. I was there.”

The Hill this morning reports that McCarthy “told members of his GOP conference on a call Monday that the riot at the Capitol was not caused by Antifa, urging lawmakers not to further spread misinformation about the pro-Trump mob that stormed the House and Senate last week.”

“McCarthy told all members on the call that he has been receiving FBI briefings and it is clear that antifa was not behind this,” the Hill reported quoting “one source familiar with the call.” “That it was in fact right-wing extremists and QAnon adherents, and he urged members to stop spreading false information to the contrary.”

Yesterday Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida made the claim that “antifa was behind the violence that broke out at the Capitol on Wednesday.”

“Evidence growing that fascist ANTIFA orchestrated Capitol attack with clever mob control tactics,” Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama tweeted the day after the riot.

However, McCarthy told members that “it was determined to be right-wing extremists and supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory.”

Furthermore, the FBI has said publicly that “it determined that no members of the left-wing movement antifa were involved in the storming of the Capitol.”

“We have no indication of that at this time,” Washington Field Office assistant director Steven D’Antuono said when asked about any potential involvement of Antifa last week.

The Associated Press said on Monday that they “reviewed social media posts, voter registrations, court files and other public records for more than 120 people either facing criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 unrest or who, going maskless amid the pandemic, were later identified through photographs and videos taken during the melee.”

They report, “The evidence gives lie to claims by right-wing pundits and Republican officials such as Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., that the violence was perpetrated by left-wing antifa thugs rather than supporters of the president.”

The AP found “that many of the rioters had taken to social media after the November election to retweet and parrot false claims by Trump that the vote had been stolen in a vast international conspiracy. Several had openly threatened violence against Democrats and Republicans they considered insufficiently loyal to the president. During the riot, some livestreamed and posted photos of themselves at the Capitol. Afterwards, many bragged about what they had done.”

The article details numerous individuals who were arrested and their ties to right wing groups.

The AP reports that their “review found that QAnon beliefs were common among those who heeded Trump’s call to come to Washington.”

They note that the mob “also included members of the neofascist group known as the Proud Boys, whom Trump urged to “stand back and stand by” when asked to condemn them by a moderator during a presidential debate in September.”

One of many people profiled in the AP article was William Arthury Leary, “who owns a manufactured housing business in Utica, New York. In an interview Friday, Leary told the AP that he strongly believes the election was stolen from Trump and that he went to Washington to show his support.”

He said that “he doesn’t trust information reported by the mainstream media and that one of his main sources of information was Infowars, the far-right conspiracy site run by Alex Jones. He denied he ever set foot in the Capitol and complained that he was held for more than 24 hours and had his cell phone seized.

“They treated us like animals,” he complained. “They took all our phones. I didn’t get to make a phone call to tell anybody where I was.”

The AP reports that some are facing consequences even beyond their arrests.

For example, they report that a Texas sheriff announced Thursday “that he had reported one of his lieutenants to the FBI after she posted photos of herself on social media with a crowd outside the Capitol. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Lt. Roxanne Mathai, a 46-year-old jailer, had the right to attend the rally but he’s investigating whether she may have broken the law.”

One of the posts Mathai shared was a photo that appeared to be taken Wednesday from among the mass of Trump supporters outside the Capitol, “Not gonna lie……aside from my kids, this was, indeed, the best day of my life. And it’s not over yet.”

Bottom line—those arrested by the FBI tell the story that the people arrested for crimes inside the building were active Trump supporters, not part of any type of counter-Trump insurgency.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

99 Comments

    1. Chris Griffith

      Keith we had a great opportunity so not only make money but the redirect blame from Donald Trump to the Davis Vanguard we could have sold Davis Vanguard t-shirts and made money well a couple of bucks anyway and redirected blame to the Davis Vanguard can you imagine that the guy sitting Nancy pelosi’s chair would have had a Davis Vanguard t-shirt on or maybe the guy with the Buffalo hat he could have had a Davis Vanguard shirt on Lord knows he needed a t-shirt

  1. Chris Griffith

    All this is not about antifa not about black lives matter it’s not even about Donald Trump anymore people are pissed and they don’t really give a damn what they fight they just want to fight then you have companies like Facebook Twitter Amazon AWS and a whole host of others out there that are doing things that are pissing people off even more and then you have the Congress critters that are spouting off and angering people.  I think somebody ought to check the water on the stove I think the pot starting to boil over if you get the drift.

      1. Keith Olsen

        Don’t you think people are getting upset when companies like Parlor are being forced to shut down?  Would you David be “pissed” if your Internet provider refused to let you use their network over political bias?

        1. David Greenwald

          Parler.

          Would David be “pissed” if the internet provided refused to let me use their network over political bias? Yes. Is that what happened with Trump and Parler? No. That’s the problem. There has been no acknowledgement whatsoever from you that something happened was wrong and well outside of the bounds of acceptable political discourse. That’s why we are where we are and yet you remain in denial. It’s astounding given your professed position on Trump.

        2. Richard_McCann

          Keith O

          Are you saying these companies are not entitled to their freedom of speech? Are you suggesting that we need government regulation of these services? Do you mean that you’re supporting MORE government intervention?

          On a different point, we know that people are several times more likely to repeat, repost and otherwise spread stories based on misinformation and false facts than those that are true and valid. This is like a disease virus. The best means of reducing that spread is to hinder means of transmission through social media platforms. Parler is a disease transmission vector of misinformation and hate. Cutting off its pathways will eventually quell the foment.

        3. Keith Olsen

          Are you saying these companies are not entitled to their freedom of speech? Are you suggesting that we need government regulation of these services? Do you mean that you’re supporting MORE government intervention?

          Richard, what are you even talking about?  I said none of those things.

          Reading is FUNdamental.

           

        4. Keith Olsen

          David, you’re dodging the issue.  Have we gone that far and are we that divided that we have politicians advocating for a blacklist on the other party?  That’s a road we should never go down.

          1. David Greenwald

            Maybe instead of posting a Fox article quoting Karl Rove, you could ask directly next time? I don’t know what a Blacklist is. I don’t know what it means in this context. I think there are people who work in the Trump administration that will probably not get confirmed in the future depending on the control of the Senate. A blanket denial is probably not appropriate and also unenforcible. I doubt there is legislative support for such a thing either.

        5. Eric Gelber

          I share the concerns expressed by Keith O and the ACLU:

          ACLU senior legislative counsel Kate Ruane said in a statement:

          For months, President Trump has been using social media platforms to seed doubt about the results of the election and to undermine the will of voters. We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier.

          President Trump can turn to his press team or Fox News to communicate with the public, but others — like the many Black, Brown, and LGBTQ activists who have been censored by social media companies — will not have that luxury. It is our hope that these companies will apply their rules transparently to everyone.

        6. Keith Olsen

          Elon Musk weighs in on Internet censorship:

          “A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech”

          1. David Greenwald

            When are you planning to address straight on some of the points I have raised about people on Parler plotting violence and the site operators failing to address it?

        7. Ron Oertel

          Isn’t it the government’s responsibility to monitor and investigate dangerous, public comments?  And in fact, isn’t that how they find out about those folks – with technology making it even easier to do so?

          (Notwithstanding any on the Vanguard, of course.)  😉

          1. David Greenwald

            That’s not the point though. It’s not the mention of Antifa (which probably is mostly right wingers talking about their boogie man anyway) but rather, the actual plotting of violence. Show me a Facebook post where violence was plotted and Facebook left it up. You’re deflecting. Again.

        8. Ron Oertel

          David:  That’s a pretty scary video, in that article.

          Did you notice how one guy seemed very aggressive, but was (temporarily) pulled back by another guy in the crowd?

          Keith:  Thanks – I’ll check that out.

          1. David Greenwald

            I wonder if he was fulling the guy back or instructing him?

            It’s a wonder more people weren’t killed when you watch that video.

        9. Ron Oertel

          Thin blue line, indeed (in reference to that video, when the siege began).

          In reference to “instructing him” – who knows? (I went back and viewed it again.)

          1. David Greenwald

            I thought that because he pulls him back, talks to him and then the guy goes back to another location and them they all rush forward at the cops.

        10. Tia Will

          Keith

          Not speaking for David, but I think you are asking a fair question. My answer is, it depends.

          1. If I were continually breaching the terms of service, I would expect to be penalized by the platform in any manner up to and including being denied usage that is in their terms of usage.

          2. If I were fomenting an insurrection, I suspect I would find it quite inconvenient and would probably be quite angry about it.

          3. If I were an honest user, I would be irritated and would move my participation to another format with close attention to the terms of usage so as not to be kicked off.

        11. Ron Oertel

          3. If I were an honest user, I would be irritated and would move my participation to another format with close attention to the terms of usage so as not to be kicked off.

          The problem being that if there’s an effective monopoly, there may not be another format.

          (In the case of local blogs, there is at least one other option.)  😉

    1. Richard_McCann

      Chris G

      What are they angry about? That their scapegoats aren’t being cast out of the country? Because that’s apparently the only solution that these mobs will be happy with.

      I see the difference between the right and the left now is that the right has its scapegoats–immigrants, Blacks, Jews–that should be expelled or suppressed, while the left is proposing actual actions, even to the point of socialism at the extreme end. The right is falling for the disinformation by the elites of the Republican Party that want to deflect attention from the real problem–that wealth is accruing rapidly to the upper 10% while that group enjoys the low cost services provided by workers who’s wages are suppressed.

      1. Alan Miller

          . . . the right has its scapegoats–immigrants, Blacks, Jews–that should be expelled or suppressed

        Some of my best friends are “right”.  Oddly, not one of them has scapegoated, expelled or suppressed any of those groups mentioned, including Jews (I might have noticed that one).  Must be that other “the right”.

        1. Bill Marshall

          IMNSHO,

          Must be that other “the right”.

          I assume that ‘other right’, are the ones who are actually “wrong” (perpetuating lies, conspiracy theories), and toxic, and who might rightfully be scapegoated, expelled and/or suppressed.  [maybe]

          And, if I’m correct in my assumption, the above paragraph stands… my opinion, not speaking for Alan…

          And there is that other “the left” too… who can perpetuate lies, conspiracy theories, and can actually be toxic.

          Two sides, same coin… and wash your hands touching that coin…

        2. Tia Will

          OK, Alan. So none of your “right” friends have done those things directly. I am wondering how many of them spoke out publicly against the family separations and even kids dying in cages? How many of them spoke out openly about the egregious deaths of blacks at the hands of the police? How many of them continued to support border operations even after they knew they were not only targeting dangerous individuals?

        3. Alan Miller

          OK, Alan. So none of your “right” friends have done those things directly. I am wondering how many of them spoke out publicly against the family separations and even kids dying in cages? How many of them spoke out openly about the egregious deaths of blacks at the hands of the police? How many of them continued to support border operations even after they knew they were not only targeting dangerous individuals?

          None! [He says bursting into tears] – they are all baby killing racists!  I admit it!  [Jumps off building, ending his life, pleasing Hart and Hobbs]

        4. Alan Miller

          I am wondering how many of them spoke out publicly against the family separations and even kids dying in cages? How many of them spoke out openly about the egregious deaths of blacks at the hands of the police? How many of them continued to support border operations even after they knew they were not only targeting dangerous individuals?

          To give a less flamboyant and dramatic response (and one that doesn’t end in my death) — I  would have the same answer regarding my leftie friends as my rightie friends to the three questions posed, which is:  I have no idea.  I rarely talk politics with friends, except local politics — and if I do, it’s usually involuntarily.  I certainly don’t know how many of any political stripe “spoke out publicly” or “openly” or “supported operations”.  No idea.  But if you need a number . . . seven (7).

        5. Ron Oertel

          I rarely talk politics with friends

          That’s why they’re still friends.  Well that, plus friendships aren’t usually based upon political views.

          Turns out that we only care what online strangers think about our opinions. Though are they starting to become friends, as well? (Scary thought.) 😉

  2. John Hobbs

    I am part of a project that is watching social media cam coverage to help identify perpetrators of the attempted coup.

    We saw a hilariously sad and funny one of a twenty something from TN. Elizabeth, who was standing next to her MAGA cap wearing boyfriend, ranting about being maced. “I only got about 10 feet inside when they maced me and shoved me out.”

    (1st amendment auditor) “What were you doing inside the Capitol?”

    Elizabeth:”This is a revolution.”

    No doubt about who is behind it and none about those who refuse to repudiate it.

     

  3. Chris Griffith

    What we have here Mr Hobbs is a good old PSYWAR and I do believe it’s being conducted by either the Chinese or the Russians and it’s going to get really ugly here pretty quick.

  4. John Hobbs

    Mr.(?) Griffith, we are doing what the DOJ and FBI have requested, usually identifying people from multiple appearances in popular media sites like YouTube, twitter and Facebook.

    What do you have to hide that makes you so paranoid?

     

     

    1. Chris Griffith

      you sound like you have a fun job.

      It doesn’t sound like it’s part of your job description but for me I would be more interested in who took the photograph than who’s in the photograph.

      Those perpetrators that storm the Capitol building where there and ready to go before Uncle Donald Trump even completed his speech to me this thing was pre-orchestrated this was a well-funded attack by people other than a bunch of village idiots that were part of a trump rally

       

       

      1. John Hobbs

        “I would be more interested in who took the photograph than who’s in the photograph.”

        By other rioters. They make it easier for the FBI to identify everyone when the traitors proudly post the evidence online.

      2. Richard_McCann

        Those perpetrators that storm the Capitol building where there and ready to go before Uncle Donald Trump even completed his speech

        Only an idiot could ignore the signals Trump sent over the last several months prepping this demonstration for a violent response. The rally speech was just the final spark.

  5. John Hobbs

    UPDATE: Jake Angeli (the guy in the Chewbacca bikini and Loyal Order of Buffaloes hat) refuses to eat because the jail doesn’t offer organic food. His mother says that he only eats organic food or he gets ill. His pd says it might be a religious issue. Right.

    1. Ron Glick

      I had the exact same thought about KO. Nobody is saying protected speech is a problem. Fomenting the violent overthrow of the USA is not protected speech. By the way Facebook and other internet platforms are not even subject to the first amendment. As non-governmental organizations they can refuse anyone they want service on their platforms.

        1. Ron Oertel

          It is absolutely not irrelevant.  If you can’t see that, then I’d suggest that beliefs such as yours are part of the problem.

          This has nothing to do with the First Amendment, in regard to companies.

          If there’s a monopoly (e.g., among a group of like-minded companies), “they” can control the message and information distributed.

        2. Bill Marshall

          They are facing challenges such as this, however:

          The elections of 2020 for example… like over 60 legal challenges?  Challenges to 1st amenment rights of the electorate?  Where they wanted the ballots tossed out and a re-do?  A redo would have to include all congressional races that appeared on the same ballot… might be a good idea, but would leave some states with no representatives in the House.

          Questioning a ballot is an ‘all-or-nothing’ thing… either the ballot was legally cast, or it wasn’t… I don’t believe that ANY state had a separate ballot for the Presidential race.

          So, for ex., PA’s votes are questioned, all of them should be… PA has no members of the House, and might be missing one in the Senate, for all I know…

          A legal challenge is far different from getting a judgement in favor of the challenge… just a gravy train for attorneys asserting and defending… the suits re:  the election were all rejected… not even ‘heard’… many by conservative judges, some of whom were Trump appointees…

          The suit you mention probably has a “snowballs chance…”… but, it can still be brought to the courts…

        3. Ron Oertel

           just a gravy train for attorneys asserting and defending…

          The action that I referred to was initiated by the FTC.  They don’t get paid in the manner that you’re suggesting.

          Not sure if there’s other challenges, as well. Haven’t been following it that closely.

  6. John Hobbs

    “The sad, incontrovertible truth is that the people who laid siege to the Capitol were and continue to be domestic enemies of the Constitution of the United States. A poisonous lie that the election was illegitimate and should be overturned inspired so called ‘patriots’ to share common cause with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and conspiracy theorists to attack the seat of American government…Anyone who watched those horrible hours unfold should have been galvanized to rebuke these insurrectionists in the strongest terms. Instead, some members whom I believed to be leaders in the defense of the nation chose to put political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the Republic…The decision to vote to set aside legitimate electors harmed the ability of every service member, intelligence officer, and diplomat to defend the nation and advance American interests…Congressional enablers of this mob have made future foreign conflict more likely, not less.”

    Jason Schmid, senior Republican staffer on the House Armed Services Committee, in his resignation letter.

    Laugh it up boys. Some joke.

    1. Ron Oertel

      John: Laugh it up boys. Some joke.

      Well, I thought this was rather amusing:

      John:  Jake Angeli (the guy in the Chewbacca bikini and Loyal Order of Buffaloes hat)

      1. Ron Oertel

        I take it he’s not an animal rights protester, and is probably not part of the police force. 🙂

        I also don’t recall him breaking through physical barriers, or attacking the police (unless he went through a costume change). Seems unlikely that his “hat” would remain in place.

    2. Chris Griffith

       The  sad, incontrovertible truth is that the people who laid siege to the Capitol were and continue to be domestic enemies of the Constitution of the United States.

      The sad truth is that the congress critters feel that they are the only criminals that should be allowed underneath that dome in Washington DC. That’s the only reason why this is being investigated this sure as hell wasn’t done in Seattle or Portland or any other place in the United States

      Just my humble opinion 😊

  7. Tia Will

    That’s a road we should never go down.”

    I agree we should never go down the road of blacklisting. However, we have a rich history of having done so. Senator McCarthy used the label
    “communist” applied doubtless to a few who were, as well as many who were not to ruin careers and lives.

    A less devastating, but equally “blacklisting” was the treatment of Colin Kaepernick whose career with any team in the NFL was effectively ended by Trump’s repetitive lying about his disrespect for the flag & our military. This despite Kaepernick’s clear explanation of the real goals of his protest by kneeling. So Kaep was painted as disrespectful & blacklisted, while the terrorists who seized the Capitol were told by Trump that he “loved” them.

    1. Ron Oertel

      in the NFL was effectively ended by Trump’s repetitive lying about his disrespect for the flag & our military. This despite Kaepernick’s clear explanation of the real goals of his protest by kneeling. 

      Something about “interpretation” (as with the blue lives matter flag), “first amendment” rights, etc. Which also protects “your” and “my” interpretation (as well as Trump’s).

      Despite what others might think of it.

      As is the ability to end one’s watching of football games.  (Of course, they kind of have a “monopoly” on professional games, at least. Perhaps not as important as the control and dissemination of news and information.)

        1. Ron Oertel

          Are you sure that’s not a bulldog? 😉

          Regardless, I think it would be entirely appropriate for the NFL to forbid those.

          I guess there should be judgement involved with these type of things – regardless of whatever laws people try to refer to.

    2. Ron Oertel

      ” . . . told by Trump that he “loved” them.”

      I’ll refrain from commenting regarding whether or not love is a “good” thing, in this case.  😉

      Or, whether there’s “good people on both sides”.

  8. Chris Griffith

    Just think that dangerous Nazi Donald Trump will be peacefully retiring to Florida lounging around sucking on coconuts and holding the occasional rally, as dictators love to do and peaceful Democrats in power well of course continue to pursue Trump, his family, and his friends to the ends of the earth and destroy their lives forever, as Democrats love to do. 
    In four more years Donald Trump would be running against President Kamala Harris and of course the Donald will win.😁
     

      1. Keith Olsen

        The Democrats aren’t too smart.  Why impeach Trump?  They should let him leave next week and hope he runs again in 4 years.  He doesn’t have a chance of winning and will totally splinter the GOP, unless of course the Democrats totally f*** things up.  And I don’t put that past them.

        1. David Greenwald

          It’s not clear that this move isn’t smart. What’s going be interesting to watch is how many Republicans join them in the house – Liz Cheney jumped aboard, the WH is saying up to two dozen, that might be a low number. The other thing that bears watching is McConnell. NYT reports that if he gives the nod, they will have the votes to remove Trump. I made the mistake in 2016 of not believing he could win – I wouldn’t assume he couldn’t win again. There is also the fact – if this isn’t an impeachable offense, what is? THat came from a Republican, btw.

          1. David Greenwald

            Bear in mind, there are plans for armed protests this weekend in all fifty state capitals, if something happens, the equation could change very rapidly.

        2. Chris Griffith

          To keep this from happening again I think we to need hire a whole boatload of social workers in the wake of the occupation of the building by Trump supporters.
          We all know social workers will be sensitive to the needs, hurts, and social pressures of any occupiers, allowing them to defuse the situation should more deranged lunatics try to get into Congress.
          To prevent this from happening again, we must have a team of social workers at every entrance. Then, when Trump supporters try to enter, the social workers can reason with them, asking them about any past trauma or hurts that may be causing their deep-seated psychological issues.

          In order to pay for the increased presence of social workers I think we should start defunding the Capitol Police.

          This approach seems to work another liberal cities

        3. Ron Oertel

          Don’t forget all the kids across the country traumatized by this.  They need counseling, too!

          And parents might also need some guidance regarding how to talk to their kids about it. How to let them know that they’re safe, etc.

          Where’s my crayons?

        4. Eric Gelber

          (Sounds like someone had a traumatic childhood experience involving a social worker.)

          Failing to proceed with impeachment would send the message that there is no accountability for a president who incites violence and insurrection, and attempts to overturn the results of a democratic election. Congress has a responsibility to act under those circumstances, without regard to political fallout.

          Conviction would also mean that Trump would be barred from running for federal office in the future.

  9. Chris Griffith

    (Sounds like someone had a traumatic childhood experience involving a social worker.)

    Eric you’re very perceptive my mother was a social worker and yes I was traumatized and still today I’m not allowed to play with crayons. 🙄

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for