Morial: ‘We Need to Know’ if Russians Are ‘Involved’ in MN Violence

On CNN on Saturday, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial stated that if the rioting in Minneapolis is the responsibility of white supremacists, Russians, or “other foreign actors who’ve tried to exploit the pain and exploit legitimate protests,” they should be prosecuted, officials need to inform the public if the violence is caused by those with terrorist associations or anarchists, and said Russians “went to great lengths to pretend to be black activists in an effort to suppress the vote. Are they involved in this?”

Morial said that the next presser from officials in Minneapolis, “and the public safety director, I think, intimated to this, will give us information as to who is behind these acts of violence. If it is white supremacists, if it is Russians, if it is other foreign actors who’ve tried to exploit the pain and exploit legitimate protests, then this is a new level in our country, and they should be arrested and prosecuted as well. My sense, in listening to the governor, is that they have a fair amount of information on who is behind this.”

Morial added that the head of the Twin Cities Urban League told him that, from his vantage point, “most of the violence was being carried out by people whose mission and whose values were not aligned — and they were not there to really protest the death of Mr. Floyd, but really to create havoc.”

He further stated that officials need to inform the public “who is behind this. Is it truly those associated with terrorists? Is it truly white supremacists? Is it — are they anarchists? We need to know that in order to understand why this overwhelming show of military force is essential in this instance.”

Morial also said that he has “had a suspicion, for a time now, that many of these sort of online protests are exploited by others. The Russians, in the ’16 election, went to great lengths to pretend to be black activists in an effort to suppress the vote. Are they involved in this? Well, we need to know now.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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