In the hours after President Donald Trump spoke to his supporters who were protesting against the results of the 2020 election, thousands of them sieged upon the Capitol on Wednesday, overwhelming police and disrupting the election certification session.
Images taken by reporters show how the rally devolved into a chaotic afternoon which resulted in the shooting death of one woman.
Since then, some of the president’s staunchest supporters, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, have echoed claims that radical left-wing group Antifa orchestrated the riot.
These are not Trump supporters. pic.twitter.com/ptcNp2lzrG— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) January 6, 2021
After reviewing media accounts of the siege, we’ve determined that the claim is false.
After reviewing this topic, we've found some issues - It's not true.
According to the claims, Antifa donned Trump-themed gear and stormed the Capitol as part of a false flag operation. Some posts even shared photos of the rioters caught on camera and tying them to photos of Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.
For example, one viral post said the man seen in a horned cap and painted face at the Capitol was aligned with the anti-fascist group.
Lin Wood and QAnon are backing the bus over the Q Shaman from today's riot, while the Q Shaman insists he isn't antifa. pic.twitter.com/mLmpnFwLjQ— Will Sommer (@willsommer) January 7, 2021
That man was later identified as Jake Angeli, a noted supporter of a conspiracy cult called Qanon and a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump. Angeli is a well-known protester covered previously by Arizona Central.
Supporters had planned the events online, using social media apps like Parler to express support for the rallies scheduled on Thursday.
Other false claims also indicated that Antifa protestors were “escorted” into the Capitol by police to cause the disruption. Metropolitan police denied the claim, telling Reuters they do not act as a private security escort.
If the identification of well-known right-wing activists is not convincing enough to dispel the notion that Antifa was involved in the Capitol, consider Trump’s own messages to the rioters he was telling to go home.
“We love you, you’re very special,” he told them in a video that was later taken down by Twitter and Facebook. “But go home, and go home in peace.”