The 2020 Trump campaign ratcheted up its rhetoric on Saturday in a fundraising text, warning people that Antifa, the loose collection of far-left anti-fascist demonstrators who have physically confronted police and Trump supporters this summer, will “attack your homes" if Joe Biden is elected.
There has been no reported evidence Antifa, which does not have any sort of central organisation, is planning to launch any sort of attack on American homes if voters hand an election night victory to the Democratic nominee.
The Trump campaign did not provide any evidence either, but that did not stop it from firing off the following text message:
"ANTIFA ALERT: They'll attack your homes if Joe's elected. Pres Trump needs you to become a Diamond Club Member. Your name is MISSING. Donate."
US intelligence and Homeland Security Department officials have warned that white supremacists are the biggest domestic terrorism threat in the country, a message that has largely fallen on deaf ears at the top of the Trump administration, several outlets have reported recently.
As protests have erupted following the deaths or near-deaths in police custody of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor of Louisville, Ahmaud Arbery in Atlanta, and Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Donald Trump has seized on the violent confrontations and riotous behaviour perpetrated by so-called Antifa elements as a rallying cry for his “law and order” presidency.
Ninety-three per cent of the protests for racial justice this summer have been non-violent, according to a report released earlier this month by the nonprofit Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.
Mr Biden has publicly condemned Antifa and political violence “across the board,” stating on multiple occasions that violent outbursts undermine to the vast majority of protesters’ messages of racial equality and law enforcement reform.
Mr Trump, who recent polling shows is losing in virtually every key swing state for the 2020 election, has made anti-Antifa fear-mongering a lynchpin of his campaign message.
In a Fox News interview on Saturday, the president cheered the US Marshals for shooting and killing a far-left activist who was suspected of shooting a Trump protester at a clash between Antifa and Trump supporters in Portland, Oregon, late last month.
“This guy was a violent criminal, and the US Marshals killed him. And I'll tell you something -- that's the way it has to be. There has to be retribution,” Mr Trump said.
Law enforcement is trained to avoid extrajudicial violence when possible to detain a suspect.
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