NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – President Donald Trump said Sunday that the United States government will designate Antifa as a terrorist organization, though civil liberties advocates questioned his ability to do so.
Antifa, short for anti-fascists, is an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations.
“The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” Trump tweeted Sunday.
Federal officials have pointed to “far left extremist groups” taking part in protests in recent days.
Trump previously alleged the violence was “being led by Antifa and other radical groups.”
Attorney General William Barr later seemed to echo Trump's assertion, saying the violent incidents in Minneapolis were driven by groups using "Antifa-like tactics."
Barr vowed that federal prosecutors across the country would use federal riots statutes to charge protesters who cross state lines to participate in violent rioting.
On Sunday, the American Civil Liberties Union said Trump doesn’t have the power to label domestic terror groups.
“Terrorism is an inherently political label, easily abused and misused,” the organization said in a tweet. “Let’s be clear: There is no legal authority for designating a domestic group. Any such designation would raise significant due process and First Amendment concerns.”