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Barr hasn’t announced that Obama launched antifa

October 7, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into antifa reveals that the organization was created by former President Barack Obama and liberal financier George Soros. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The claim stems from a satirical article. Barr has not opened an investigation into antifa, a term for leftist militants. 

THE FACTS: A satirical article claiming that Obama and Soros are bankrolling antifa members is circulating widely on Facebook and Twitter as true. 

“Barr’s investigation of ANTIFA leads directly to Barack Obama,” says the headline of the June 8 article on a site called Obama Watcher, which is labeled as satire. 

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Obama Watcher is part of a network of satirical sites run by America’s Last Line of Defense, a liberal site that tries to dupe President Donald Trump’s supporters with false news stories. 

Facebook and Twitter users continue to pass around the article as real. 

Barr has made no such announcement, nor has he launched an investigation into antifa, although a group of Republican congressional members urged Barr to launch an investigation into antifa last month. 

Furthermore, antifa is not considered an organized group, with FBI Director Christopher Wray saying last month that it is more of an ideology or a movement than an organization. 

The Department of Justice, which is led by Barr, has opened investigations into some violence that erupted in cities during nationwide protests calling for racial justice earlier this year. 

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.


Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536