Wild conspiracy about Washington siege


Trump supporters say Antifa was to blame for Capitol siege in Washington DC

Trump supporters have jumped on a bizarre theory about the US Capitol siege, claiming it is not at all what it appeared to be.

They’re being condemned as “domestic terrorists” and “unhinged” rioters, but supporters of US President Donald Trump have sprouted a bizarre theory in the wake of their attempted coup of the US Capitol, shifting the blame instead to left-wing anti-fascist movement, Antifa.

Multiple conspiracy theorists, right wing figures and MAGA fans – including, notably, Republican and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin – are claiming that the rioters who descended on Washington DC were actually “leftists dressed as Trump supporters”.

“We don’t know who were the instigators … a lot of it are the Antifa folks … I dunno, there are a lot of questions out there,” Ms Palin told Fox News earlier, adding that President Trump “tried to win over too many anti-Trumpers, whom he hired”.

She then tweeted a message to the media, demanding they “quit labeling DC protesters ‘Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers, Trump Supporters, etc’ LOOK IN TO WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE who’d choose an apparent leaderless insane swarm to create a perception of condoned violence”.

Two Republican congressmen, Louie Gohmert and Mo Brooks, are also spreading the theory, with the latter declaring “time will tell” whether it was “ANTIFA fascists in backwards MAGA hats”.

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“Remember, Antifa openly planned to dress as Trump supporters and cause chaos today,” lawyer and self-proclaimed “patriot” and “civil rights activist” Rogan O’Handley tweeted.

“It’s extremely easy for a radical Leftist to throw on a US flag shirt & MAGA hat, engage in violence, then let the media delegetimise an entire movement. In fact, it’s a preferred tactic of dictatorship (and 3 letter agencies).”

Lin Wood, another pro-Trump lawyer and QAnon influencer, sent several viral tweets also claiming Antifa supporters were the ones who’d stormed the Capitol, claiming there was “indisputable photographic evidence that antifa violently broke into Congress today to inflict harm & do damage”.

Mr Wood then went so far as to declare Trump supporters are “peaceful” – a statement, given today’s actions, nearly as bizarre as the conspiracy theory itself – urging his followers to “not be fooled” and writing that “it was antifa that created the violence in our cities over the past several months”.

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Conservative writer Paul Sperry tweeted that a “former FBI agent on the ground” at the US Capitol had texted him and “confirmed that at least 1 ‘bus load’ of Antifa thugs infiltrated peaceful Trump demonstrators as part of a false Trump flag ops”.

In an effort to spread their misinformation campaign, conservatives have singled out Trump supporter Jake Angeli, also known as the “QAnon Shaman”, who was one of the first to make it inside the Senate chambers and whose face and furry Viking hat has been everywhere since.

A photo was spread on Twitter showing Mr Angeli at a Black Lives Matter protest last year – which those plugging the theory declared as proof that he was not a real Trump supporter and instead an Antifa infiltrator.

In actuality, though, while the picture of him at the protest is real, it’s been cropped to hide his QAnon sign – so while Mr Angeli was indeed at a BLM demonstration, he was there as a pro-Trump counter-protester.

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Jake Angeli, pro-Trump supporter and “QAnon Shaman”. Picture: Saul Loeb/AFP

Jake Angeli, pro-Trump supporter and “QAnon Shaman”. Picture: Saul Loeb/AFPSource:AFP

Despite this barrage of claims, it’s worth noting that there is yet to be any evidence of Antifa’s involvement in today’s events.

A number of Trump supporters have openly planned for weeks on both pro-Trump internet forums like TheDonald and mainstream social media to “storm the Capitol” if “Congress ignores the evidence” of so-called voter fraud.

According to non-profit research organisation Advance Democracy, more than 50 per cent of the top posts on January 4 on TheDonald “featured unmoderated calls for violence in the top five responses”.


“All this bullsh*t about not bringing guns to DC needs to stop,” another read on Tuesday.

“This is America. F*ck D.C. it’s in the Constitution. Bring your goddamn guns.”

“Extremists have for weeks repeatedly expressed their intentions to attend the January 6 protests and unabashedly voiced their desire for chaos and violence online,” visiting research fellow with DFRLab, Jared Holt, told Buzzfeed News.

“What we’ve witnessed is the manifestation of that violent online rhetoric into real-life danger.”

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