Politico reports that documents and reports they reviewed showed that Homeland Security and the FBI warned of the growing violence of "Antifa" groups, and even designated their activities as “domestic terrorist violence." The report was published Friday.
Prior to the election, Homeland Security saw these “anarchist extremist" groups organizing against "the capitalist system," racism and fascism. But after the election, the groups latched on to a new target - the supporters and allies of President Trump.
According to Politico, the "Antifa" groups, which is short for "anti-fascist," focused on the white nationalist and racist elements that supported certain Trump campaign agenda items that fit with their worldview. These included the ban on Muslim immigration he promised during the campaign, and the ratcheting up of border enforcement.
The report claims that law enforcement officials saw Trump's rhetoric as worsening the situation.
"In interviews, law enforcement authorities made clear that Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric and policies — first as a candidate and then as president — helped to create a situation that has escalated so quickly and extensively that they do not have a handle on it," it read.
The report says officials saw both sides reacting in more extreme ways when their opponents grew violent. Now the situation appears out of control.
“Everybody is wondering, 'What are we gonna do? How are we gonna deal with this?'” said one state law enforcement official. “Every time they have one of these protests where both sides are bringing guns, there are sphincters tightening in my world."
"Emotions get high, and fingers get twitchy on the trigger," he added.
Even Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decried the violence from the "antifa" group in a statement released Tuesday.
Some conservatives have accused the media appears to whitewash or ignore violence from the left-wing Antifa, as when Reuters had to delete their description of them as "peaceful protesters" in Phoenix, Arizona.