NewsBusters and this author have repeatedly pointed out how MSNBC and NBC have been a reliable safe harbor for the left-wing domestic terrorist group known as Antifa. And they back at it again, with Sunday Today anchor Willie Geist and White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell scoffed at claims from the White House and the Department of Justice that Antifa was partially to blame for violent rioting across the county, corrupting protests demanding justice for George Floyd.
Failing to mention the Secret Service official injured during a riot outside the White House on Friday, Geist downplayed the violence from Saturday night. “Protests continued last night outside of the White House as well, and across Washington where police broke up crowds by firing tear gas and pepper spray at protesters,” he began. “This as President Trump and Attorney General William Barr blame left-wing anarchist groups for the violence.”
There was a pointed tone of skepticism as O’Donnell started talking about how President Trump wanted officials to “get tougher on those agitators and those causing violence.” Adding, “Who he says are part of a radical left activism that seeks to cause chaos, not seeking justice for George Floyd.”
In the video portion of her report, O’Donnell noted that “The President called out those steering protests to violence and destruction.” But casted doubt on bipartisan suggestions that some of the violence was being perpetrated by non-local antagonists:
And Barr delivered a warning after both Minnesota's Democratic governor, Tim Walz and President Trump suggested some demonstrators in Minnesota were out-of-state antagonists. Claims they did not back up with evidence.
She also insinuated Trump was out “stoking racial conflict” with a tweet she said was an “invitation for more protests,” but from his supporters.
But journalists on the ground at the riots have extensively documented Antifa’s involvement in the current violence. As Andy Ngo, editor-at-large for The Post Millennial, reported on Twitter from Portland: “A man brought an American flag to the antifa/BLM protest (later riot). He is confronted & then sucker-punched by a man wearing a ‘F— Trump’ shirt. The mob rushed in to beat him.”
And one apparent Antifa enforcer was attacking the press in Minneapolis with a metal crowbar. As filmed by Town Hall’s Julio Rosas: “Some sort of riot enforcer armed with a metal pole is harassing and chasing away members of the media. He used the pole to knock a cameraman's equipment out of his hand.”
That’s very similar to what happened to NBC reporter Cal Perry and his crew back in 2018, during the Charlottesville anniversary riots. They were viciously attacked and Sunday Today refused to mention it the next morning, despite the fact Perry had posted a video of the assault on his Twitter page. According to NBC at the time, the press was merely “heckled.”
The transcript is below click "expand" to read:
NBC Nightly News
May 31, 2020
8:08:26 a.m. Eastern
WILLIE GEIST: Protests continued last night outside of the White House as well, and across Washington where police broke up crowds by firing tear gas and pepper spray at protesters. This as President Trump and Attorney General William Barr blame left-wing anarchist groups for the violence. Kelly O’Donnell is outside the White House.
KELLY O’DONNELL: Good morning, Willie. As we've seen in other cities the National Guard was activated here, but this is the only National Guard that reports directly to the secretary of defense. And the president. President Trump says that he believes many elected officials must get tougher on those agitators and those causing violence, who he says are part of a radical left activism that seeks to cause chaos, not seeking justice for George Floyd.
[Cuts to video]
Back in Washington, the President is taking on a new adversary.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: My administration will stop mob violence.
O’DONNELL: As American cities, including the blocks around the White House, erupt with anger over George Floyd's death in police custody. The President called out those steering protests to violence and destruction. Speaking after the rocket launch in Florida.
TRUMP: The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters and anarchists.
O’DONNELL: Saturday, Attorney General William Barr said accountability for Floyd's death is coming. With both state and federal investigations of the officers.
AG WILLIAM BARR: That system is working. And moving at exceptional speed.
O’DONNELL: And Barr delivered a warning after both Minnesota's Democratic governor, Tim Walz and President Trump suggested some demonstrators in Minnesota were out of state antagonists. Claims they did not back up with evidence.
TRUMP: It's Antifa it’s a lot of radical left bad people. And they’ve got to be taught that you can't do this.
O’DONNELL: Barr said the Department of Justice is ready to prosecute rioters who traveled out of state to incite violence.
BARR: It is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting. And we will enforce those laws.
O’DONNELL: The President says he is prepared to send military police to back up law enforcement and National Guard units. Governors are required to formally ask for military assistance. After tweeting what looked like an invitation for more protests, “Tonight I understand the MAGA night at the White House.” The President insisted he was not stoking racial conflict.
TRUMP: By the way, they love African American people. They love black people.
[Cuts back to live]
O’DONNELL: And along with his get-tough message, the President also said he and his administration stand with George Floyd's family and peaceful protesters. He's asking his administration through the Department of Justice to work quickly on the investigation for any civil criminal penalties against the officers. A process that will take some time. Willie?
GEIST: Kelly O’Donnell at the white house. Thank you, as always, Kelly.