Keith Ellison Brushes Off Son’s Support for Antifa: ‘That Was a Comment About the Absurdity of the President’s Comment’

FILE - In this June 16, 2016 file photo, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. National Democrats will elect a new chair whose task is to steady a reeling party and capitalize on the widespread opposition to Republican President Donald Trump. Leading contenders in the …
AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Monday dismissed his son’s overt declaration of support for the so-called anti-fascist group Antifa, brushing it off as a “comment about the absurdity of the president’s comment more than anything else.”

Administration leaders have pointed out that many of the violent riots dominating U.S. cities have embraced Antifa-like tactics, sowing civil discord by attacking officers, looting businesses, and setting structures on fire.

Ellison’s son, a Minneapolis city council member, on Sunday professed support for Antifa on social media, as violence and destruction continued to rattle U.S. cities:

The elder Ellison brushed off his son’s declaration, telling CNN that it was “a comment about the absurdity of the president’s comment more than anything else.”

“We don’t see what the president’s talking about,” Ellison said following days of vandalism, looting, and violence across the country. “I don’t think the president sees what he’s talking about.”

The Minnesota attorney general said he has not seen “any evidence” of violence being perpetrated by Antifa but added that we need to “investigate these suspicious characters who have been seen breaking property and committing acts of arson.”

He clarified that he has seen evidence of people committing the lawless acts, but he does not have “evidence as to where they’re from or what their ideology may be.”

“I’m not trying to get into anything. I’m not going to be distracted or deterred from justice for George Floyd. I will say there are more productive and helpful things for the administration to be doing than putting out those kind of distracting tweets,” he added:

Ellison’s dismissal of his son’s strong support for Antifa does not come as a surprise, as Ellison openly expressed support for the radical group in 2018.

“At @MoonPalaceBooks and I just found the book that strike [sic] fear in the heart of @realDonaldTrump,” Ellison wrote in a now-deleted tweet alongside a photo of himself holding the book Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook:

“Unfortunately with the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful protests are being hijacked by violent radical elements,” William Barr said at a Department of Justice press conference on Saturday.

“Groups of outside radical agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda,” he continued.

The following day — the same day President Trump announced that the U.S. will designate Antifa as a terrorist organization — Barr designated violence “instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting” as domestic terrorism and said such actions would be “treated accordingly.”

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