From the Washington Post:
Officials blame outsiders for violence in Minnesota but contradict one another on who is responsible
By Shane Harris
May 30, 2020 at 5:39 p.m. PDT
… Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) told reporters he had no doubt that protests over Floyd’s death began with Minnesotans frustrated and outraged “with inequality, inequities and quite honestly racism that persisted” in the state.
But state officials have assessed that up to 80 percent of those protesting or rioting came from outside Minnesota, Walz said. He suggested that far-right white supremacists and perhaps organized drug cartels were chiefly responsible.
A federal law enforcement official was not aware of any intelligence about cartels infiltrating the protests.
But according to local officials, most people arrested in protest-related incidents were state residents.
… State officials said that after reviewing posts online, they were confident far-right racist groups had encouraged their followers to descend on the state and take advantage of the crisis.
John Harrington, commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety, said officials were “checking to see, are they part of an organized criminal organization?”
“Is this organized crime? Is this an organized cell of terror?” he said, referring to posts by white nationalist groups.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said local law enforcement had been “overwhelmed” by the huge number of people on his city’s streets.
“We are now confronting white supremacists, members of organized crime, out-of-state instigators, and possibly even foreign actors to destroy and destabilize our city and our region,” he said.
Walz suggested that U.S. intelligence agencies were providing the state with information about who was behind the protests, implying that the National Security Agency, which monitors foreign governments and terrorist organizations, might be playing a role.
U.S. officials dismissed those claims, noting that, by law, the NSA does not monitor domestic political activities. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence, were also skeptical that foreigners were taking part in protests or had helped organized them. Foreign media, including Chinese and Russian sources, have sought to portray the violence as emblematic of systemic political failings in the United States.
State officials weren’t the only ones trying to pin protests in Minneapolis and other cities on politically motivated outsiders.
“The voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by violent radical elements,” Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement from Justice Department headquarters.
Unlike state officials, Barr was unequivocal on who was to blame, claiming that the protests were “planned, organized and driven by anarchic and far-left extremist groups using antifa-like tactics,” referring to anti-fascist groups that have used violence.
Barr offered no evidence to support those assertions
Other than your lying eyes and everything that has gone on involving Antifa for years in the U.S.
, and his descriptions ran counter to Walz, who blamed the violence, at least in part, on far-right actors. …
“It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!” Trump tweeted.
Meanwhile, the Biden staff is paying to bail out the white supremacists and Russian agitators:
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 31, 2020
It’s a wilderness of mirrors.