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President Donald Trump believes his Democratic opponent Joe Biden should openly condemn the radical, far-left group Antifa.
The president was asked for comment Wednesday after the website for the anti-fascist political movement, antifa.com, appeared to temporarily be redirecting users to Joe Biden’s website, JoeBiden.com. The apparent prank came on the heels of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s announcement of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.
.@ChanelRion: Should Joe Biden, Kamala Harris publicly denounce Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization?
— Wojciech Pawelczyk (@Woj_Pawelczyk) August 12, 2020
The short-lived web snafu sparked shocked reactions on social media where many questioned the connection of Biden to the group that has been linked to the recent violent protests and as well as the vandalizing of federal property.
Oh my God…https://t.co/SVbzKUNl8A goes to Joe Biden’s website 🤣🤣
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) August 12, 2020
Does anyone else find that a little weird?
— Patrick Henningsen (@21WIRE) August 12, 2020
One America News Network’s Chanel Rion informed the president about the issue during a press briefing at the White House on Wednesday, asking him if he believed Biden and Harris, as well as the Democratic Party in general, should openly denounce Antifa.
Biden has reportedly not publicly called out the group during his presidential campaign while Trump has vowed to designate them as a domestic terror organization.
“Odd situation. We don’t know who’s behind that, but it raises an interesting leadership question,” Rion said, addressing Trump. “Should Joe Biden, the Democratic Party, Kamala Harris, should they publicly denounce Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization?”
“They should. I think they’re afraid to,” Trump replied.
“In my book, it’s virtually part of their campaign, Antifa,” he added. “The Democrats act like, ‘Gee, I don’t know exactly what that is.’ Take a look at Portland, take a look at any place you want to take a look at — they’re everywhere.”
Back in June amid the height of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department had evidence that “extremist agitators” were hijacking the protests to “pursue their own separate and violent agenda.”
“We have evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity,” Barr said at the time.
But when Rep. Jerry Nadler was asked to “disavow” Antifa over the anarchy in Portland, Oregon, the New York Democrat insisted that the violence was “a myth that’s being spread only in Washington, D.C.”
In a video announcing his candidacy last year, Biden brought up the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. in 2017, describing the violent Antifa members as “a courageous group of Americans.”
And in her first speech since being chosen as Biden’s vice-presidential running mate, Harris on Wednesday praised Black Lives Matter protesters and Antifa rioters as a “coalition of conscience” and the “heroes of our time.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 13, 2020
Condemning Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. economy, Harris said “we are experiencing a moral reckoning with racism and systemic injustice that has brought a new coalition of conscience to the streets of our country demanding change.”
“To everyone keeping up the fight, you are doing something great! You are the heroes of our time,” the California Democrat added.
Meanwhile, the temporary issue with the website redirect was apparently corrected in a short time on Wednesday.
That said, when you post https://t.co/m2RNaYrizE it gives you a *preview* for Biden’s website. But it’s a dead link.
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) August 12, 2020
But speculation continued about whether the issue was an intentional prank or a “misfire.”
I got a server error when I first tried it, then later I did get redirected to Bidens campaign site, so did my friends and screenshot it for me. I think this is a simple DNS traffic error due to volume, but it’s definitely true and real
— Quantum Wayfarer👣 (@fergi2479) August 12, 2020
A malicious redirect doesn’t happen because of a ‘misfire’. It happens because whomever owns the antifa domain name set the redirect to go to the Biden campaign page.
— Je Reviens (@2DreamIt) August 12, 2020
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) August 12, 2020
Well to be fair, he doesn’t know what race he is running for so…
— CryptoAnon (@CryptoAnon6) August 12, 2020
— Jack Cruz (@GuitarSlinger77) August 13, 2020