By Grace Carr
Antifa members vandalized the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York ahead of Gavin McInnes’s Friday appearance at the club, prompting an outbreak of violence that Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed on President Donald Trump.
Cuomo failed to condemn Antifa’s violence and blamed the president after the vandals attacked a group of Proud Boys exiting the club after McInnes spoke about “Deep State Socialists” and “Western Values” Friday evening.
Cuomo did not immediately condemn the attack, but later asked the FBI to investigate the violence and assigned a state police hate crimes unit to assist in the investigation.
“It’s lighting a match in a field of dry grass. The wind takes it and it just takes off,” Cuomo added, “plac[ing] responsibility on the president,” according to The Times. The governor also criticized the Metropolitan club for inviting McInnes to speak.
The Proud Boys activist group was founded by McInnes, a Vice Media co-founder and political commentator, in 2016.
“The governor does not condemn it, the governor does not say anything,” chairman of the state Republican Party Ed Cox said, according to The Times. “But then when there is later violence, he then says that it’s all Donald Trump’s fault. What kind of governor is that?”
McInnes alleged that a vandal threw a bottle of urine at him as he exited.
“We’re the victims here,” Metropolitan Republican Club president Deborah Coughlin, said Sunday. She reported a number of hostile phone calls and threats from Antifa members to the police Thursday. Vandals also left a note at the club saying their hostility was “merely a beginning.”
Police arrested three Antifa protesters and charged them with assault Friday. Investigators are also looking for three men connected to the incident.
We continue to investigate the violent incident on the UES on Friday night, and need information regarding these persons-of-interest. no complaints have been filed; If you were the victim of a crime, or have information about the incident, please call 1-800-577-TIPS. @NYPDTips pic.twitter.com/27hiXunk61
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 14, 2018
“We dispute these allegations, and I will be very surprised if the allegations do not fall apart,” the Antifa members’ lawyer, Moira Moltzer-Cohen, told The Times.
No Proud Boys were arrested.
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