House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told members of his GOP conference on a call Monday that the riot at the Capitol was not caused by antifa, urging lawmakers not to further spread misinformation about the pro-Trump mob that stormed the House and Senate last week.
“McCarthy told all members on the call that he has been receiving FBI briefings and it is clear that antifa was not behind this,” one source familiar with the call said. “That it was in fact right-wing extremists and QAnon adherents, and he urged members to stop spreading false information to the contrary.”
McCarthy’s comments come in the wake of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who made the unsubstantiated claim on the House floor that antifa was behind the violence that broke out at the Capitol on Wednesday after the riot took place in an attempt to delay the official count of Electoral College votes.
Other GOP lawmakers including Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) doubled down on the claim on Twitter.
"Evidence growing that fascist ANTIFA orchestrated Capitol attack with clever mob control tactics," Brooks wrote at the start of a Twitter thread the day after the riot.
McCarthy told his members it was determined to be right-wing extremists and supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which revolves around the idea that President Trump is working to expose an elite group of Democrats and media who are running an international child trafficking ring and controlling the government to try to undermine the president.
The FBI said on Friday that it determined that no members of the left-wing movement antifa were involved in the storming of the Capitol.
“We have no indication of that at this time,” Washington Field Office assistant director Steven D'Antuono said when asked about any potential involvement of antifa last week.