WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director Chris Wray told lawmakers Thursday that Antifa is an ideology, not an organization, delivering testimony that puts him at odds with President Donald Trump, who has said he would designate it a terror group.
Wray did not dispute that Antifa activists were a serious concern, saying that Antifa was a “real thing” and that the FBI had undertaken “any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists,” including into individuals who identify with Antifa.
But, he said, “It’s not a group or an organization. It’s a movement or an ideology.”
That characterization contradicts the depiction from Trump, who in June singled out Antifa — short for “anti-fascists” and an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups — as responsible for the violence that followed George Floyd’s death. Trump tweeted that the U.S. would be designating Antifa as a terrorist organization, even though such designations are historically reserved for foreign groups and Antifa lacks the hierarchical structure of formal organizations.