Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray refused to disclose whether Antifa has the capability to organize, receive funding, and coordinate attacks during the House Intelligence Committee’s annual public World Wide Threats Hearing on Thursday.
Wray began his answer about Antifa by declaring it is a “real thing.”
“There are certainly local and regional nodes, individuals who self-identify with Antifa and commit violent attacks, citing that as their motivation, and we have a number of predicate investigations into such individuals and Antifa is a real thing. It’s not a fiction,” Wray admitted, despite Democrats and their media allies previously calling Antifa a “myth.”
When pressed by Republican Rep. Michael Turner of Ohio about the organizing, training, and financing of Antifa, however, Wray was reluctant to divulge information.
“Again we have seen individual instances and small regional nodes of people coming together to train in some cases,” Wray said. “There’s not some big national structure responsible for the violence.” Wray also noted that “the financing issue is something we continue to investigate, but there’s nothing that I can share at this time with the committee on that.”
Turner, however, continued to press Wray to answer whether Antifa received funding on a local or national level.
“They have obviously been deployed throughout the United States. We’ve seen them burning federal buildings, the self-professed members, claiming members of Antifa — do they or do they not have organized financial support?” Turner asked. When Wray repeated that the FBI continues to investigate, the Republican questioned whether Antifa had the capability to coordinate and target specific locations.
“At the local level, in some cases, the regional level we have seen organized activity, people working together,” Wray conceded.
The tense exchange comes as rioters, some of whom are reported to be “self-identified Antifa members,” made their way to the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center to cause destruction in response to the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.
During the hearing, Wray admitted that while these Antifa members may have traveled in from other cities to wreak havoc, he still might classify them as “local.” “My definition of local doesn’t mean people who just live in the same city,” Wray said.
“So like, if you travel across the country to perpetrate violence, you become local where you perpetrate the violence?” Turner asked.
“When I say local or regional, I’m including people from the surrounding area,” Wray continued. “And that may or may not include people from other parts of the state, for example.”