US President Trump in a call with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blames "Antifa people" for storming the Capitol, Axios reports, with the latter insisting "it's not Antifa, it's MAGA."
US President Donald Trump has privately blamed "Antifa people" for storming the Capitol, even though clear video and documentary evidence shows the rioters were overwhelmingly his supporters, Axios reported.
Trump made the remark in a 30-minute-plus phone call on Monday morning with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Axios said, citing a White House official and another source familiar with the call.
However, McCarthy told Trump in the call, which according to Axios was tense and aggressive at times, "It's not Antifa, it's MAGA [Make America Great Again]. I know. I was there."
Antifa, short for "anti-fascist," is a loose affiliation of mostly far-left activists in the US.
The source said when Trump voiced claims about election fraud again "an exasperated McCarthy" interrupted and said "Stop it. It's over. The election is over."
McCarthy also advised Trump to call Joe Biden, meet with the president-elect and leave a welcome letter in the Resolute Desk for his successor, according to the report.
The Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol did so on video. They bragged about it. You can't claim that it was antifa or actors or anything else. You can't escape your culpability with lies.— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) January 12, 2021
Twitter’s decision to lock Trump’s account the night of the attack almost certainly stopped him from live-tweeting Fox primetime’s claims that antifa was behind it. https://t.co/PQ2cuBWzYQ https://t.co/gMYgqYF1x5— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) January 12, 2021
'No credible intelligence'
The storming of the Capitol building last week by Trump supporters delayed the certification of Biden's election victory.
Lawmakers were forced to flee as the building was mobbed by the president's supporters who overwhelmed security forces.
Five people died in the violence, including one Capitol Police officer who was beaten as he tried to ward off the crowds.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Washington Field Office, however, said it has "no credible intelligence" on Antifa playing a role in criminal activity at the US Capitol, according to AFP Fact Check.
"At this time, we have no credible intelligence suggesting ANTIFA involvement in Wednesday's criminal activity," the office said in an email on January 11, 2021.
"However, the investigation is ongoing and we are aggressively working to identify all individuals involved, no matter their association."
Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department agreed.
"We do not have any information to suggest Antifa was behind the insurrection of the US Capitol," a spokesperson said by email.
Donald Trump loves and thinks ANTIFA is very special apparently then. Sad.— Shawn Kane (@CitizenKane95) January 12, 2021
Trump accepts 'some' responsibility
McCarthy told party lawmakers on Monday that Trump acknowledged he bears "some responsibility" for the Capitol assault, according to two people familiar with the briefing.
"I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened if he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened," McCarthy said, according to sources.
McCarthy also appealed to Trump to call Biden.
"I'm asking you personally. Call Joe Biden. For the sake of this nation."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues on Monday that the House will proceed with legislation to impeach Trump, calling him a threat to democracy.