“They are a revolutionary group that is interested in some form of socialism, communism,” Barr said of Black Lives Matter. “They’re essentially Bolsheviks.”
Barr’s comments in the hour-long interview on “Life, Liberty & Levin” represent some of his harshest critiques yet of the protest movement, which he equated with antifa and compared to guerrilla warfare, and of the Democratic politicians who have accused the attorney general of subverting the Justice Department to do President Trump’s bidding.
Trump has also regularly expressed his disapproval of Black Lives Matter, accusing one of its members of “treason” and called the Black Lives Matter mural outside Trump Tower in New York “a symbol of hate.” Barr has also previously criticized the protests, which have been ongoing throughout the country since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in May, and personally ordered law enforcement to use force to clear a largely peaceful crowd outside the White House on June 1.
On Sunday, Barr accused Black Lives Matter of being an anti-government operation that has been co-opted by violent antifa members. Barr argued the group is part of a coordinated effort to push Trump out of office.
“The left wants power because that is essentially their state of grace in their secular religion,” he said. “They want to run peoples’ lives so they can design utopia for all of us and that’s what turns them on. And it’s the lust for power and they weren’t expecting Trump’s victory and it outrages them.”
The attorney general also accused Democrats of abandoning their traditional values.
“They’re not interested in compromise, they’re not interested in dialectic exchange of views. They’re interested in total victory,” Barr said. “It’s a secular religion. It’s a substitute for a religion.”
Barr went on to call antifa a “new form of guerrilla warfare,” arguing the group, which he said is “highly organized,” hides among peaceful protesters for protection.
“What they do is, they are essentially shielding themselves or shrouding themselves in First Amendment activity,” Barr said. “They hijack these demonstrations and they provoke violence. And they have various tiers of people from the sort of top provocateurs down to people who are their minions and run the violent missions.”
Despite Barr’s claims, there have been no arrests or solid proof connecting antifa to violence at Black Lives Matter protests, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker reported in June. The far-right boogaloo movement, meanwhile, has been tied to a murder and several bomb plots aimed at escalating violence.
Barr also accused the media of willfully ignoring any coverage of alleged antifa violence at protests.
“Of course the media doesn’t take footage of what’s happening,” Barr said. “They don’t take footage of the rocks being thrown.”