Attorney General Bill Barr said Monday that the Justice Department has gathered evidence showing that antifa and “foreign actors” are among the groups responsible for the violence undermining peaceful George Floyd protests.
Barr told reporters during a Thursday press conference that there are three separate sets of people taking part in the protests: peaceful demonstrators, looters, and “extremist agitators who are hijacking the protests to pursue their own separate and violent agenda.” (RELATED: Trump To Sign Executive Order That Attempts To Speed Up Infrastructure Projects By Suspending Environmental Regulations)
“We have evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions, have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity,” he continued. “We are also seeing foreign actors playing all sides to exacerbate the violence.”
The attorney general additionally thanked law enforcement for working to “protect” the nation’s capital before adding that the most recent demonstrations in Washington, D.C. have been peaceful.
Barr previously condemned the violent elements of some protests and, along with President Donald Trump, urged the deployment of National Guard troops to regain control of city streets.
On Tuesday, he pledged that “there will be even greater law enforcement resources and support” to handle protesters.”
“The most basic function of government is to provide security for people to live their lives and exercise their rights,” he wrote at the time. “We will meet that responsibility here in the nation’s capital.”