Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison Tweeted Support for Antifa in 2018

US Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, attends a press conference with the Congressional Progressive Caucus about the nominations for President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, December 8, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison once tweeted support for Antifa — the so-called “anti-fascist” group that many blame for the ongoing riots in Minneapolis and elsewhere following the killing of George Floyd last week.

Ellison, who was then a congressman and the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, tweeted after a visit to the Moon Palace Books shop in Minneapolis in January 2018: “At @MoonPalaceBooks and I just found the book that strike [sic] fear in the heart of @realDonaldTrump.” He attached a photo of himself holding the book Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook by Mark Bray.

Keith Ellison backs Antifa (Screenshot / Internet Archive)

Keith Ellison backs Antifa (Screenshot / Internet Archive)

The original tweet appears to have been deleted, but survives at the Internet Archive. It caused enough controversy at the time that local CBS Minnesota published a story about it.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said Saturday that the violence that had erupted nationwide had largely been conducted by “far-left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics.”

On Friday, as riots raged in Minneapolis and elsewhere, Ellison said: “Martin Luther King [Jr.] said many years ago that riot is the way that the unheard get heard. He didn’t condone it, but he said to the nation — as a person who always protested peacefully — that don’t just dismiss that and ignore it, and relegate it to just criminality and bad behavior.”

Asked by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday about the quote, Ellison said that people should consider “the roots of that rage” rather than just considering the riots themselves.

Ellison has faced scrutiny for his past connections to the radical Nation of Islam and its leader, Louis Farrakhan. He wore a T-shirt in Spanish in 2018 reading, “I don’t believe in borders.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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