President Donald Trump criticized the far-left Antifa group at his North Carolina rally on July 17, calling them “bad people” and “evil.”
“These are bad people. These are sick, bad people. These are bad people,” he told the crowd.
“They don’t get the bad press, the press doesn’t want to talk to them. They are very evil: they are hitting people over the head with sticks, I mean bats even. They’re whacking people with bats. ”
The president noted that Antifa members are often young and favor wearing masks to help evade identification by law enforcement when they commit crimes, such as assault or destruction of property.
“They’re very brave, they always show up with the mask and they’re covered, because then they go home to mom and dad, they don’t want mom and dad to know where they were,” Trump said.
The president also noted the recent attack by Antifa activists against journalist Andy Ngo, who was beaten in broad daylight while reporting in Portland.
“You notice they always attack people that really have never been attacked before. They attack—and I don’t want to be disrespectful to people that have taken a lot of shots to the face—but they wouldn’t attack some of the people in this room,” Trump said.
“They’re not attacking bikers for Trump, they’re not attacking construction workers for Trump, they’re not attacking law enforcement or military for Trump. You know who they’re attacking? A single man standing there with a camera who never got hit and never hit back before in his life.”
“They don’t attack the people that we wish they attacked. That wouldn’t be a pretty picture, that wouldn’t look too good for them. But they don’t, it’s very very sad,” Trump added.
The condemnation of Antifa, which openly advocates for violence against those speaking words members don’t agree with, came after Trump attacked the so-called Squad, or Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, and Pressley were all asked this week to condemn the attack on a Tacoma immigration facility that police said was carried out by Antifa member Willem Van Spronsen. They all did not respond to Rebel Media reporter Keean Bexte. Van Spronsen used the description of the facility as a “concentration camp” in his manifesto, a description popularized by Ocasio-Cortez.
“So these congresswomen, their comments are helping to fuel the rise of a dangerous, militant hard left,” Trump continued at the rally.
“But that’s okay because we’re going to win the election like nobody has ever seen before,” he added.
Trump said he had a message for the “hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down.”
“They never have anything good to say. That’s why I say, hey, if they don’t like it, let them leave. Let them leave,” he said as the crowd applauded. “They’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this. You know what? If you don’t love it, leave it.”