EXCLUSIVE: The inside story of how Bill Barr and Chris Wray refused to go after Antifa

The following is an excerpt from The Antifa: Stories from the Black Bloc, by Jack Posobiec

President Trump had had it. The Director of the FBI, Chris Wray, was sitting across from him as the president leaned forward on the Resolute Desk of the Oval Office, arms-crossed. Director Wray shrugged and put his hands in the air like all middle managers do when they don’t have a good response to the boss. He then proceeded to get chewed out because President Trump, or “the Boss” as staff called him, hates when people shrug in response to his questions.

“Antifa, they’re a non-factor,” pleaded Wray, citing the extremism/ domestic terrorism database compiled by FBI analysts working in the cubicle farms of the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

“That’s a damn lie, Chris, and you know it,” shot back the president. “I see this stuff night after night on Twitter. We’ve got Homeland Security up in Portland getting attacked by gangs of these thugs and you’re going to sit there and tell me it’s not happening?”

Wray paused, looking out the window, searching for something to say. “Sir, we’re working on it” he ended up going with.

“We’ll see,” responded the President with his characteristic New York sarcasm.

It was the morning after the October 28, 2020 rallies in Arizona, and the President was putting Wray on notice, as he had many times before, according to interviews I had conducted with multiple administration officials with Oval Office access.

According to a senior White House official of the Trump administration, this was the latest in a series of three occasions that the President and Wray had butted heads over the subject of Antifa. The first time was at the height of the Floyd riots around the country, and the second was during the height of the federal courthouse attacks in Portland. The official told me, “It mostly consisted of Wray playing them down as a minor inconvenience with no real training, even though we know about People’s Protection Units (YPG), or saying the FBI can’t got after a political ideology, or playing them off like a bunch of anarchist LARPers. Wray would say Fox and OAN were exaggerating. He got tag-teamed by the Boss and O’Brien every time, and always promised to come down harder after every scrap but obviously never did.”

The fact that the director of the FBI would push back against a direct request from the president, as well as his national security advisor is disconcerting, to say the least. This factor becomes even more troubling in light of the fact that during Wray’s tenure in January 2021 he mobilized the full force of the FBI to track down non-violent MAGA protesters nationwide.

I have received dozens of reports of peaceful MAGA-supporting families and individuals who received knocks on their door from their local FBI field office simply for attending a rally for President Trump in Washington, D.C. These supporters participated in first-amendment protected activity exercising their civil rights in the nation’s capital, and ended up under the aegis of federal law enforcement. Why would Chris Wray balk at investigating violent anarchists while sending teams of FBI field agents after peaceful MAGA supporters? Why is the FBI crowdsourcing the ID of peaceful MAGA teenagers but disinterested in investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators of the 2020 riots? What it comes down to is the prioritization of resources within the bureau, the same way every department of the federal government is run. Simply, the federal government is biased towards targeting right-wing groups rather than left-wing groups. This derives from a number of factors, but a strong component of it is single-source media consumption by those who live in the Beltway and truly run the government of the United States: the interagency bureaucracy.

Throughout President Trump’s first term in office, he had often highlighted the dangers of Antifa’s form of domestic terrorism, a phenomenon which first appeared on the 2016 campaign trail at Hillary’s DNC in Philadelphia, and eventually culminated in the attack on Trump’s inauguration in Washington D.C. in January 2017.

Beginning in Trump’s second year in office, he began focusing on Antifa as a potent force for destabilization of the country, and also one that was directly attacking his supporters in the streets and in their homes.

However, what has never-before been reported are the conversations between President Trump and Chris Wray in which the FBI director balked at designating Antifa a domestic terror threat and frequently undermined this initiative of the 45th president. For this chapter, I interviewed current and former officials of the United States government, from the White House, the National Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and US SOCOM (Special Operations Command).

The picture that emerged as to why the U.S. government was reluctant to take action against the Antifa movement, despite their repeated acts of fatal violence, was the result of confirmation bias and bureaucratic mismanagement. That is a fancy way of saying the feds refused to take Antifa reporting seriously and refused the order of the president of the United States. For anyone who has followed national politics in recent years, this should come as no surprise. The intelligence community lied to President Obama and Congress for years about the extent of their domestic surveillance programs, only to be exposed by the leaks of Edward Snowden. The same intelligence community then spent the first two years lying to the world about President Trump to falsely accuse him as a Russian asset, only to be exposed by independent investigations.

The intelligence community is run by rent-seeking bureaucrats all vying to lie, cheat, and fail their way into making the next rank and one day winning the ultimate prize of attaining entry into the highest caste, the Special Executive Service (SES). There is no real oversight of the intelligence community, as they long ago learned how to selectively leak to their media allies in order to secure ever-increasing budgets from congress and compliance from whoever is elected president. Recently, this dynamic has evolved into former leaders of the intelligence community actually becoming so-called expert contributors themselves on establishment outlets such as CNN and MSNBC. Using these outlets as mouthpieces, the intelligence community is able to exploit their information-warfare expertise to shape domestic narratives among U.S. citizens and drive government action favoring their interests.

During the Trump era, the American left embraced these information narratives peddled by the intelligence community, making strange bedfellows for a political movement that had recently stood against endless overseas wars and domestic surveillance operations.

What the intelligence community understood was that many in Washington D.C. on both sides of the aisle had begun to outsource their personal responsibility to the assessments and reporting of so-called experts. Rather than taking the time to dig in and understand an issue, a report is placed on a congressman’s desk, or a briefing is conducted, generally with staff, and their decisions are essentially made for them. Since nearly the entire D.C. bureaucracy, which includes the intelligence community, is made up of liberal Democrats, this becomes an issue. Much of this comes from firsthand knowledge from my years serving in the intelligence community in Washington DC, as well as interviews I conducted with current and former members for this book.

One active member of U.S. SOCOM told me “the Beltway intel community is one big circle [expletive]. They read the Washington Post every morning, watch CNN all day, and consider themselves informed. They never consider the fact that they might be getting information from bad sources.” He continued, “Look at 2020. You had looters and Antifa tearing up American cities every night of the summer, biggest riots since LA, but FBI barely even mentioned them. All these kids come in with criminal justice or poli sci degrees and think that counts as real-world experience, but they wouldn’t even know how to clear a corner.”

I asked what sorts of reports were coming in during 2020. He said, “Well all the analysts were working from home because of COVID so they really only had access to unclassified. So they’re sitting home using Google and CNN to write OSINT (open source intelligence) and everyone wants to write about the same Q Anon or white supremacist nut so we end up with 15 reports about one event and the SES thinks it’s some kind of crisis. Then they brief the director about it, and then he goes to congress and tells them it’s the biggest threat in the country.”

The intelligence community has fallen for the trap of circular reporting in the past, when the CIA falsely reported to the Bush Administration that Iraq had active weapons of mass destruction program. This led to a chain reaction of ruining the credibility of the institution, as well as thousands upon thousands of avoidable deaths. Following this disaster, the intelligence community was supposed to put in safeguards to protect it from every happening again. No such safeguards were ever put in place, and instead the intelligence community grew at an even faster pace, so that now multiple agencies may be producing overlapping reports and analysis based on the same thinly-sourced raw intelligence. It is this same circular reporting that intelligence leaders exploit to shape narratives by selectively leaking to media, and then using the media reports as further confirmation of their preferred conclusions. This is the exact same dynamic that led to the Iraq War.

It is due to this same dynamic that President Trump’s request for security on January 6th, 2021 was denied. As reported by both Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller in Vanity Fair and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in an interview, President Trump ordered 10,000 troops from the National Guard to be activated to defend Washington D.C. on the date in question when he held a rally on the Ellipse outside the White House. Instead of deploying the soldiers, the Pentagon balked, in the same way that Wray balked at the president’s order to deploy assets against Antifa as domestic terrorists.

The Pentagon reportedly was worried about the “optics” of deploying the National Guard on January 6th, as they had been criticized by establishment media and Democrats for deploying the National Guard during the Floyd riots over the summer of 2020 in Washington D.C. The fact that the leadership of the United States military is terrified of criticism from media and politicians not in the chain of command should be a wakeup call to the nation about the current state of the brass within the Pentagon following eight years of liberal Democrat governance and a corporate management-style embrace of woke ideology over the basic tenets of war-fighting and national security.

In fact, this dynamic has become such a threat to national security that officials in the all-powerful bureaucracy known as the “interagency” will refuse to act on their intelligence if it conflicts with the prevailing view. I will show later in the book how it was a Department of Homeland Security memo that reported they had obtained “overwhelming evidence” of “Violent Antifa Anarchist Inspired” involvement in the Floyd riots in Portland, specifically the nightly attacks on the courthouse. Yet at the same time, the FBI director was denying it to President Trump.

From the July 25th DHS memo: “We have overwhelming intelligence regarding the ideologies driving individuals towards violence and why the violence has continued. A core set of threat actors are organized, show up night after night, share common TTPs and drawing on like-minded individuals to their cause.”

As the Floyd riots began, the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness produced the following assessment of Antifa extremists. On June 1st, 2020 they published:

“The nationwide protests resulting from the death of George Floyd have given Antifa-affiliated anarchist extremists the opportunity to infiltrate protests in order to further their violent ideology.”

“On May 31, President Donald Trump announced that the US government would designate Antifa as a terrorist organization, although there currently is no domestic terrorism statute that could label it as such. Attorney General William Barr stated violent incidents in Minneapolis were driven by groups using “Antifa-like tactics.” Barr vowed that prosecutors across the country would use federal riot statutes to charge protesters who cross state lines to participate in violent rioting. Federal law defines terrorism as a criminal attack intended to intimidate and coerce civilians in order to influence government policy or otherwise affect government conduct.”

“According to open source media, an initial New York Police Department (NYPD) analysis indicated that of those arrested in the New York City protests, one in seven people were from outside areas, including from the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Iowa, Nevada, Maryland, Virginia, Texas, and Minnesota. The NYPD stated “agitators” had planned violent interactions and vandalism ahead of the weekend rallies demanding justice over Floyd’s death, which occurred in Minnesota on May 25.”

Yet, despite state and federal agencies collecting the intelligence, in the end, President Trump’s efforts on Antifa anarchists were delayed and blocked by the same interagency bureaucrats that stymied much of his agenda during his first term in office. This dynamic was exacerbated by the biased leadership of the interagency and their tunnel vision-like worldview derived from CNN and the Washington Post rather than following the evidence where it lies. To the interagency bureaucrat that runs our government, stepping out of line beyond the realm of what is the accepted and preferred narrative is like trying to breathe without air. Despite the interests of the victims of Antifa violence, the interagency cares little for them, as long as it does nothing to challenge their grasp on power. And, because the interagency has significant overlap with academia who, frankly, are pro-Antifa, this creates and echo chamber which permeates our government.

There is a reason you rarely see Antifa challenge the actual power structure in the United States. Those in power use Antifa as their shock troops to go after anyone who challenges them.

Image: Title: Barr and Wray