Gov. Terry McAuliffe Refuses to Condemn Antifa in the Wake of Berkeley Violence

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe refused to condemn the violent, left-wing "Antifa" movement Monday night when given a chance to do so, the Independent Journal Review reported.

When repeatedly asked by IJR's Benny Johnson whether he disavows Antifa for its outrageous violence in Berkeley, McAuliffe refused to directly denounce the group.

Instead -- like President Trump -- he drew a moral equivalency between violence on "any side."

“I disavow anyone — we won't tolerate violence of any kind," he said.  "You’re entitled to protest. First amendment certainly protected. As I've said after Charlottesville, anyone who came to our state, anyone who committed violence, on any side, will be arrested. [...] Everybody’s entitled to do their protest but were not going to accept violence from anybody.”

When asked again if he directly disavows antifa by name, the governor said, “Here’s what I do as governor, I denounce any individual who commits a crime, who commits violence on our citizens. We will get you, and we will arrest you, plain and simple. I don’t care what the group is.”

At this point, the governor's staffer said they had to leave, and he entered his vehicle.

Weird, huh?

Because as you may remember, in the wake of the carnage in Charlottesville earlier this month, McAuliffe was not so hesitant to identify hate groups by name. In fact, he ran to the nearest microphone to condemn the white supremacists and Nazi marchers by name, because it could be shoehorned into a convenient narrative for the left.

“I have a message to the white supremacists and the nazis who came into Charlottesville today,” McAuliffe declared dramatically at a televised press conference. “Go home! You are not wanted in this great commonwealth!" he heaved.

“Shame on you! You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot!” he huffed.

The governor's brave opposition to Nazis and the KKK, incidentally, is shared by about 99 percent of people on the right who also don't like Nazis or KKK members. But many on the left want to lump Trump and all of his supporters in with white supremacists, so they act like hating Nazis is somehow a unique and heroic position to take. The truth is, most folks on the right hate Nazis and communists equally. The same can not be said of people on the left, who tend to have a soft spot for communism.

President Trump also disavowed the violence in Charlottesville with tweets and a statement condemning “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

But he faced massive criticism because he did not immediately call out the white supremacists and Nazis in attendance by name. He went on to correct that omission in subsequent statements, but defended his (absolutely correct) assertion that the violence came from all sides.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump asked defiantly at a press conference after Charlottesville.

More indignant huffing and puffing ensued from the media, never-Trumpers, and the left. How dare he not back down in the face of the liberal establishment's finely tuned virtue signaling! Everyone knows that's when a good GOPer who knows his place backs down and starts parroting the polite and approved narrative.

Ask Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senators Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who all cravenly agreed with McAuliffe that the violence was only on one side.

But not that gauche heathen Trump!

McAuliffe strongly disputed the president's blasphemous take in a statement. “This was not ‘both sides,’” he insisted.

“Neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists came to Charlottesville heavily armed, spewing hatred and looking for a fight. One of them murdered a young woman in an act of domestic terrorism, and two of our finest officers were killed in a tragic accident while serving to protect this community,” McAuliffe wrote.

In an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union," McAuliffe again rejected Trump's characterization that "both sides" -- white supremacists and those protesting against them (including Antifa and Black Lives Matter)  -- were responsible for the violence.

"They brought their hatred here," McAuliffe said of the white supremacists who had convened in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. "It wasn't both sides."

But as everyone but apparently Terry McAuliffe now knows, Antifa was there, instigating violence against anyone who got in their way with with their usual bag of tricks -- urine bottles, feces-filled balloons, and pepper spray.

None other than CNN's Jake Tapper called out members of the vile group for attacking reporters that day in a twitterstorm following the violence.

Retired police officer Paul Battaglia wrote in The Federalist that the police in Charlottesville allowed Antfa to assemble without a permit and "allowed the violence either by accident or purposefully."

As for Antifa's violent antics in Berkeley, which McAuliffe refused to condemn, even the Washington Post, Bloomberg and MSNBC called them out this week because their savagery was so over the top, they couldn't ignore it or defend it.

But shhhh....  Don't anyone tell the governor of Virginia. He has a false narrative to project and no amount of truth is gonna get in his way.