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- The FBI said there’s no indication antifa played a role in the attack.
Two days after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol — an assault that caused lawmakers to flee and left five people dead — we’ve debunked several falsehoods blaming antifa for what happened.
There’s nothing to back up an assertion from Mo Brooks, a Republican congressman from Alabama, that "evidence is growing" that antifa activists orchestrated the attack.
Similarly, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has wrongly said that the people who stormed the Capitol "have been confirmed to be antifa."
And the evidence that some people have pointed to — reports that a facial recognition firm confirmed that "antifa infiltrated the Trump rally" — is inaccurate. Rather, the company said it identified people associated with Nazi groups.
So we were skeptical of a supposed breaking news item circulating on Facebook by the end of the week.
"The FBI just confirmed that it was ANTIFA, not Trump supporters who breached the Capital," the post said, misspelling Capitol. "It’s reported that 2 captured had MAGA hats on as a ruse. Remember who ANTIFA works to promote and how they work. Now, when will you hear a retraction, apology or even this news on CNN? Don’t hold your breath. That’s not their policy."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
On Jan. 8, FBI assistant director Steven D’Antuono said in a press briefing that the agency has "no indication" that antifa played a role in the riot.
On Jan. 7, U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald and FBI special Agent in Charge Michael Paul, issued a joint statement on the violence at the Capitol. It mentioned neither antifa nor the president’s supporters, but said the FBI is "seeking information that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington D.C."
As we’ve previously reported, there’s no way to identify everyone who participated in the mayhem on Jan. 6. But no one claiming that antifa activists stormed the Capitol has provided legitimate proof, while the evidence that Trump supporters were involved is indisputable.
We rate this Facebook post Pants on Fire.
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Facebook post, Jan. 7, 2021
PolitiFact, There’s no proof antifa stormed the Capitol. The rumor spread quickly anyway, Jan. 7, 2021
PolitiFact, Texas attorney general advances antifa conspiracy theory after Capitol riot, Jan. 8, 2021
PolitiFact, Mo Brooks pushes baseless claim that antifa orchestrated Capitol riots, Jan. 7, 2021
PolitiFact, No, facial recognition didn’t confirm antifa infiltrated Trump supporters at the Capitol, Jan. 7, 2021
BuzzFeed News, The FBI says there’s no evidence of antifa involvement in the Capitol mob, Jan. 8, 2021
Department of Justice, Joint statement of United States Attorney Eric MacDonald and FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Paul on the violence at the U.S .Capitol, Jan. 7, 2021
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