President Trump is set to declare Antifa a domestic terror group, making good on a promise he made after the start of the recent violent protests that have badly damaged some U.S. cities.
The declaration is part of his second-term agenda and an appeal to black voters in his reelection bid.
The president will also declare the Ku Klux Klan a terrorist group, as part of his larger Black Economic Empowerment-Platinum Plan that also seeks to increase investments in black communities by roughly $500 billion.
“For decades, Democratic politicians like (presidential rival) Joe Biden have taken black voters for grant,” Trump said Friday at a campaign rally in Atlanta.
Antifa, the radical left-wing group, whose name is short for “anti-fascism,” reemerged as a destructive force over the summer by participating in numerous social justice demonstrations in which members would loot and burn businesses in cities from New York to Seattle.
Trump on May 31 announced his intentions to label the group a terror organization amid riots following the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis resident who died while being arrested by police.
“The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” Trump tweeted at the time.
Justice Department officials have raised First Amendment concerns about classifying the group as a terrorist organization. “Both sides of the aisle would share” the concerns, Bradley Wiegmann, a top attorney in the Justice Department’s National Security Division, told the House Homeland Security Committee during a hearing last year.
Trump is scheduled to make the Antifa announcement on a campaign stop in Atlanta in an appeal to black voters.