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FBI director confirms 'Antifa is a real thing,' we have 'quite a number' of investigations ongoing

'It's not a fiction'

Photo by John McDonnell - Pool/Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed Thursday in testimony before Congress that "Antifa is a real thing" and not just a fantasy conjured up by right-wing conspiracy theorists.

What are the details?

Wray was speaking at a House Homeland Security Committee meeting when he told lawmakers that Antifa, though perhaps not an organization in the traditional sense, is certainly a real movement that has resulted in a multitude of arrests this year.

"Antifa is a real thing. It's not a group or an organization. It's a movement, or an ideology may be one way of thinking of it," the FBI director said.

"And we have quite a number — and I've said this quite consistently since my first time appearing before this committee — we have any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists, and some of those individuals self-identify with Antifa," he added.

WATCH LIVE: FBI director, other officials testify on homeland security threats youtu.be

Elsewhere in the testimony, Wray affirmed, "Antifa is a real thing, it's not a fiction ... we certainly have, as I've said, a number of ... properly predicated investigations into violent, anarchist extremists who subscribe to, self-identify with, Antifa. They say, you know, I am Antifa."

Wray's remarks rebuff attempts by Democratic lawmakers to downplay the influence of Antifa or, in some cases, dismiss its existence altogether.

In July, Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), who serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, claimed that the well-documented Antifa violence being conducted night after night in Portland, Oregon, was "a myth that's being spread only in Washington, D.C."

What else?

To the dismay of President Trump, however, Wray was reluctant to call Antifa an organized group and preferred to consistently characterize it as a "movement or ideology."

Trump appeared to push back at that notion in a tweet following the hearing, calling the group "well funded" and chastising the FBI, which he said "is simply unable, or unwilling, to find their funding source, and allows them to get away with 'murder.'"

Fittingly, much of the mainstream media reporting on Wray's testimony focused on this apparent disagreement between Wray and other members of the Trump administration.

The Associated Press reported that Wray's testimony "puts him at odds with President Donald Trump, who has said he would designate [Antifa as] a terror group."

The president announced earlier this year that the United States would designate Antifa as a terrorist organization.

One last thing…
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