White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday that President Trump was “raising questions” when he tweeted an unsubstantiated claim that the elderly man shoved by Buffalo police officers may have been an ANTIFA provocateur.
McEnany made the assertion on “Fox & Friends” while responding to co-host Brian Kilmeade, who asked if the president believes the man is actually part of far the left group that many have likened to terrorists.
“So the president was raising questions based on a report that he saw, other questions that need to be asked,” McEnany responded.
“In every case, we can’t jump on one side without looking at all the facts at play,” she said.
“This individual had some very questionable tweets, some profanity-laden tweets about police officers,” McEnany added.
Trump suggested the man, 75-year-old Catholic peace activist Martin Gugino, could be an ANTIFA agent after seeing a segment on conservative news network OANN.
“Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment,” the president said in a tweet Tuesday morning.
“I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?” he added.
The news organization appears to have gotten the theory from a right wing website called The Conservative Treehouse, which published it on June 6.
Neither outlet has provided evidence that the theory is true — and a lawyer for Gugino said it is baseless.
The Erie County Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment on an ongoing investigation. The Buffalo Police have not responded to requests for comment.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo later weighed in.
“There’s no fact to any of it,” Cuomo said during his daily briefing Tuesday. “He should apologize for that tweet. How reckless, how mean, how cruel.”
He added: “What do you think it was staged? You think the blood coming out of his head was staged?”
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