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Trump Allies Point to Antifa as Capitol Riot Instigators, Despite False Evidence
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By News
Published 3 years ago on
January 8, 2021

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One sure sign that the violence that wracked the Capitol on Wednesday was broadly unacceptable to President Trump’s usual allies was how quickly some pivoted to blame people other than the president and his base of supporters.From the House floor, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a Trump ally, cited “pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company” that he claimed showed “some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters.” Instead, they were “masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa.”

On Fox News Channel’s prime-time shows, hosts and guests similarly claimed that perhaps the mob was spurred on by antifa.

The genesis for the assertion appears to be a since-removed article published by the right-wing Washington Times that claimed that a “retired military officer” had provided information from a firm called XRVision that used facial recognition software to identify several people who invaded the Capitol – and then identified them as belonging to antifa..

But in a statement, XRVision executive Yaacov Apelbaum denied his firm had made such a connection. While the firm did analyze some footage and claimed to have identified three people in it, the individuals were actually associated with Nazi organizations and debunked QAnon conspiracy beliefs.

The best evidence for who participated the storming the Capitol can be found in the comments of those who took part. Multiple news reports directly captured the statements they made about their motivation. They were spurred by the false idea — spread by Trump, his allies and conservative media — that the election had been stolen.

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