- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 17, 2019

President Trump on Saturday called out anti-fascist activists known as “antifa” as their opponents prepared to protest in favor of having them designated as terrorists.

Mr. Trump took aim at antifa from his Twitter account ahead of the “End Domestic Terrorism” rally getting underway in Portland, Oregon, where authorities have braced for possible clashes erupting between demonstrators and counterprotesters.

“Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR’,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.

“Portland is being watched very closely,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!”

Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, previously said that his office has been working with various county, state and federal law enforcement agencies in anticipation of this weekend.

“We support people’s rights to demonstrate,” Mr. Wheeler said Friday on Fox News. “But we don’t care about who you are or your politics are. If you engage in violence in this city, you will be held accountable.”

Joe Biggs, a former staffer for the Infowars website, has claimed to be a key organizer of the rally against antifa, The Associated Press reported this week. Others identified as involved in promoting the event include members of the controversial Proud Boys fraternal organization and several activists aligned with Patriot Prayer, a local right-wing group.

Antifa and right-wing activists have clashed during previous protests in Portland, and Mr. Biggs said he began planning Saturday’s event after Andy Ngo, a conservative writer, was injured during a June 29 rally.

“That group of antifa there in Portland needs to be exposed for who they are,” said Mr. Biggs, the AP reported. “And guess what? They should be scared.”

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, both Republicans, introduced a congressional resolution last month calling for anti-fascists to be declared domestic terrorists. Mr. Trump said afterward that he was considering declaring antifa, a major organization of terror, calling the activists “gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs.”

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