Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., described Antifa as “boogeymen who aren’t there” being used as political talking points during a local radio interview on Tuesday.
“What you will hear, both in private and in public, the FBI will tell you right now there is not one open case of domestic terrorism, of violent extemism, against the group called Antifa,” Slotkin told Detroit’s WDET-FM.
“It’s an ideology. It’s not an organized group with leaders and money and organization. It’s very very different, and there’s no equivalence between Antifa and a group like the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers who were instrumental in coming into the Capitol on the sixth.”
“I spend a lot of time trying to make sure my colleagues have full access to that data, and I’ve been clear with them that we’re not going to have a circus in this committee and focus on boogeymen who aren’t there. I understand it’s a political talking point for people, but you cannot misstate facts,” she continued.
Antifa protesters at a rally. (Mark Graves/The Oregonian/via AP)
Slotkin was named the chair of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, which is under the House Committee on Homeland Security, in February. She is a former CIA intelligence analyst who served in Iraq.
Slotkin cited former FBI Director Christopher Wray during her radio interview, although Wray said in September that the FBI does have Antifa-related investigations open.
“Antifa is a real thing. It’s not a group or an organization. It’s a movement, or an ideology may be one way of thinking of it,” Wray said at a congressional hearing. “And we have quite a number — and I’ve said this quite consistently since my first time appearing before this committee — we have any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists and some of those individuals self-identify with Antifa.”
Slotkin took a stand against violent protests in the wake of Minneapolis man George Floyd’s death.
“I am worried about the violence taking place in some cities. Destruction of property is a crime and does not further the cause of justice. It will be increasingly important to differentiate between peaceful protests and violent looting in the coming days and weeks,” she wrote in an op-ed in June.
Former President Donald Trump often blamed Antifa for violent riots in 2020.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson, Brian Flood, Houston Keene and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.