- President Donald Trump took aim at the radical left-wing movement Antifa on Saturday, tweeting that the organization was being considered for designation as a terror organization.
- Trump dismissed the group as a collection of "gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs" who had enacted violence on "only non-fighters."
- Controversy over the group ramped up recently when members clashed with far-right protesters in Portland, Oregon, earlier this month.
- Suspected Antifa members were seen on video at one point assaulting the conservative journalist Andy Ngo.
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President Donald Trump took aim at the radical left-wing movement Antifa on Twitter Saturday, writing that the organization was being considered for dedication as a terror organization.
Trump waved off the group as a collection of "gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs" who had enacted violence on "only non-fighters."
"Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others)," Trump wrote. "Would make it easier for police to do their job!"
Antifa, short for "anti-fascist," describes a loose, leaderless network of activists that seek to combat right-wing authoritarianism and white supremacy — sometimes through aggressive or even violent means. It has existed for decades but gained prominence after Trump’s 2016 election and has been a popular target for right-wing commentators.
Trump’s tweets came days after Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy and Ted Cruz introduced a resolution that would label Antifa members "domestic terrorists."
"Antifa are terrorists, violent masked bullies who ‘fight fascism’ with actual fascism, protected by Liberal privilege," Cassidy said in a statement. "Bullies get their way until someone says no. Elected officials must have courage, not cowardice, to prevent terror."
Conservative blogger Andy Ngo drummed up fresh criticism against the group late last month when he was assaulted by suspected Antifa members. He was ultimately one of eight people injured in clashes after dueling demonstrations between Antifa members and far-right organizations, including the Proud Boys, turned violent.
Ngo tweeted that he was "attacked by antifa," which was captured in a video taken by Oregonian reporter Jim Ryan, which has been viewed almost 8 million times on Twitter. In the video, Ngo is punched and has silly string, eggs, cups, and other unidentified liquids thrown at and sprayed on him.
Though many conservatives have condemned the group, some civil-liberties advocates have said that a formal terror label wouldn’t be appropriate.
"It is dangerous and overly broad to use labels that are disconnected [from] actual individual conduct," Hina Shamsi, director of the national security project at the American Civil Liberties Union, told The Washington Post about a possible designation. "And as we’ve seen how ‘terrorism’ has been used already in this country, any such scheme raises significant due process, equal protection and First Amendment constitutional concerns."
Kat Tenbarge contributed reporting.
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