Fact Check: The FBI Did NOT Confirm It Was Antifa Activists, Not Trump Supporters Who Stormed The Capitol

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: The FBI Did NOT Confirm It Was Antifa Activists, Not Trump Supporters Who Stormed The Capitol No Connection

Did the FBI confirm it was Antifa activists, not Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol? No, that's not true: A claim has gone viral that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed antifascist activists, known as Antifa, were the ones who invaded the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. The FBI has made no such statement about those responsible for the siege of the building. FBI Assistant Director Steven D'Antuono said there was "no indication" that Antifa activists were involved in the Capitol violence. "At this time we have no credible intelligence suggesting ANTIFA involvement in Wednesday's criminal activity," FBI Public Affairs Officer for the Washington Field Jessica Davis told Lead Stories.

The claim appeared as a meme in a post (archived here) where it was published by Facebook on January 7, 202. It read:

The FBI just confirmed that it was ANTIFA, not Trump supporters who breached the capital. 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 is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Jan 8 19:48:49 2021 UTC)

The FBI has not "confirmed" that the people that stormed the Capitol were Antifa.

On a conference call with reporters on Friday, January 8, 2021 FBI Assistant Director Steven D'Antuono said there was "no indication" that Antifa activists were involved in the Capitol violence, NBC News correspondent Tom Winter reported.

David told Lead Stories via email on January 9, 202, "However, the investigation is ongoing and we are aggressively working to identify all individuals involved, no matter their association."

Antifa is a term used to describe a wide variety of both loosely affiliated and independent antifascist organizations whose anti-racist and anti-fascist credos date back to the resistance to the 1920s rise of Italian fascism under Benito Mussolini and the 1930s rise of Nazism in Germany under Adolph Hitler.

A press release issued by the FBI on January 7, 2021 had no mention of Antifa. It did say, "We do not tolerate violent agitators and extremists who use the guise of First Amendment-protected activity to incite violence and wreak havoc."

FBI Director Christopher Wray issued the following statement regarding the January 6, 2021, violent activity at the U.S. Capitol.

The violence and destruction of property at the U.S. Capitol building yesterday showed a blatant and appalling disregard for our institutions of government and the orderly administration of the democratic process. As we've said consistently, we do not tolerate violent agitators and extremists who use the guise of First Amendment-protected activity to incite violence and wreak havoc. Such behavior betrays the values of our democracy. Make no mistake: With our partners, we will hold accountable those who participated in yesterday's siege of the Capitol.

Let me assure the American people the FBI has deployed our full investigative resources and is working closely with our federal, state, and local partners to aggressively pursue those involved in criminal activity during the events of January 6. Our agents and analysts have been hard at work through the night gathering evidence, sharing intelligence, and working with federal prosecutors to bring charges. Members of the public can help by providing tips, information, and videos of illegal activity at fbi.gov/USCapitol. We are determined to find those responsible and ensure justice is served."

Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 1.23.08 PM.png

A second press release on the FBI website titled, "Acting United States Attorney Bubar, FBI Special Agent in Charge Archey Condemn Yesterday's Violence in Washington D.C.," also did not mention Antifa.

Lead Stories has reached out to the FBI for comment and will update when a response is received.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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