The attorney general said antifa and also other comparable extremist teams have been connected in instigating and participating in the violent task sweeping the country.

Attorney basic William Barr claimed Thursday the the the federal federal vxcialistoufjg.comvernment has evidence that the radical left-wing antifa movement and other extremist teams have "hijacked" legit protests roughly the country to incite violence, and also said details "foreign actors" space seizing on the unrest to sow discord in the U.S.

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"While numerous have peacefully expressed their anger and also grief, others have hijacked protests to engage in lawlessness, violent rioting, arson, looting that businesses, and also public property strikes on regulation enforcement officers and also innocent people, and also even the killing of a federal agent," Barr said. "We have evidence that antifa and also other comparable extremist groups, as well as actors that a variety of various political persuasions have been connected in instigating and participating in the violent activity.

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Attorney general William Barr, center, was standing in Lafayette Park across from the White house as demonstrators gather to protest the fatality of George Floyd, June 1, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
In a news conference at the Justice department alongside other department top Thursday, Barr and also FBI Director chris Wray both singled out the antifa movement in their opening remarks, though to date the DOJ has actually not provided direct proof of extensive involvement the antifa pendant in the violence seen therefore far across the country.

In contrast, top top Wednesday the DOJ announced the arrest of 3 men associated to the far-right "Boogaloo" activity who were allegedly plot to incite violence in ~ protests in las Vegas.

Asked by abc News" senior Justice Correspondent Pierre cutting board why that didn"t name-check those arrests, Barr pointed to his opening statement whereby he acknowledged "actors that a selection of different political persuasions" that were also carrying the end violence.

"There room some teams that don"t have a particular ideology, various other than anarchy and there"s some groups that want to bring around a civil war -- the "Boogaloo" group that has been ~ above the margin that this too trying come exacerbate the violence," Barr said. "So we are handling as ns say a witch"s brew the a lot of of different extremist organizations."

Barr additionally cautioned the investigators space seeing "a most disinformation out there" with specific groups posing as members of other opposing groups.

Wray then followed up on Barr"s remarks by making clear the while the FBI has actually a variety of "onvxcialistoufjg.coming investigations" the "violent anarchist extremists" through antifa-like views, the FBI"s investigative efforts are not driven by the political ideological background of violent actors.

"We"re about there violence, we"re not about the ideology and also it doesn"t matter what your ideological background is, if you commit violence or rioting or action that we would take into consideration terrorism we"re walking to seek it," Wray said.

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Attorney basic William Barr speak at a press conference in Washington, D.C., June 4, 2020.
Barr, who is under fire because that his stimulate Monday to push a protest in prior of the White house to make method for president Trump"s photo op at St. John"s Episcopal Church, safeguarded the underlying plan to clear out the protesters as having "no correlation" with Trump"s visit.

"I think it was entirely ideal for him to do," Barr said. "I not understand that he was vxcialistoufjg.coming to perform that until later on in the day after our plans were well underway to relocate the perimeter, therefore there was no correlation between our tactical plan and moving the perimeter the end by one block, and the president"s vxcialistoufjg.coming end to the church."

Barr said that public representative on the ground had established "instigators" who were throw projectiles and otherwise do the perimeter one unsafe area.

"One of the challenges is that while there are calm demonstrators and participants in this protests, the is the instigators, those cursed to violence who basically shield themselves by vxcialistoufjg.coming among them," Barr said, including he personally observed projectiles gift thrown on his visit come Lafayette Park prior to the evacuation. "We might not proceed to defend the federal building involved and protect the safety of our agents with such a tight perimeter."

Barr offered the news conference come applaud commonwealth officials throughout the country for their job-related so far in prosecuting bad actors at the protests, announcing that there has actually so much been 51 commonwealth arrests in link with violent looting and rioting.

As a component of his remarks, Barr likewise weighed in top top the nature the the comes to expressed through protesters about the inequities the the criminal justice system, and also said he would certainly be hold meetings v DOJ"s regulation enforcement commission and also have conversations with ar leaders come "find constructive solutions."

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"While the vast majority of police officers do their task bravely and also righteously, it is undeniable that plenty of African Americans lacked confidence in our American criminal justice system," Barr said. "I believe that police chiefs and also law enforcement officials and also leaders around the country are committed to ensuring that racism plays no component in legislation enforcement, and that anyone receives equal protection of the laws."

Asked whether he agrees with the concerns of protesters who have actually said they watch Floyd"s fatality as a component of a wider systemic issue of police brutality of human being of color, Barr answered that believes excessive force is generally restricted to a "distinct minority" the officers.

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"Federal civil legal rights laws resolve will completely use of too much force and those that engage in that type of task I think are a distinct minority," Barr said. "I think the overwhelming variety of police officers shot conscientiously to usage appropriate and also reasonable force.