FACT CHECK: Viral Posts Falsely Claim A Man Wearing A Horned Hat In The Capitol Is Antifa

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

Posts shared on Facebook claim the man pictured wearing a fur hat with horns in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday is a member of antifa.

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The man in the horned fur hat is not a member of antifa. He has been identified as a QAnon supporter that has previously attended pro-Trump events and publicly spoken in favor of the president.

Fact Check: 

Rioters with pro-Trump flags stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as Congress attempted to count the Electoral College votes and certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump, according to The New York Times.

Social media users have been sharing photos of people who breached the Capitol along with claims that they are members of antifa, a loosely tied group of antifascist activists. Many posts focused on a tattooed man wearing a fur hat with horns that was pictured inside the Capitol on Wednesday.

The man pictured wearing a fur hat with horns has been identified as Jake Angeli, a known supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to The Arizona Republic. The QAnon conspiracy theory posits that Trump is fighting an underground cabal of Satanic pedophiles and cannibals that control the government and other institutions. Angeli has been a “fixture at Arizona right-wing political rallies over the past year,” The Arizona Republic reported.

In a May 2020 interview with The Arizona Republic’s BrieAnna J. Frank, Angeli thanked Q and spoke favorably of Trump before criticizing the press. (RELATED: Were Counterfeit Ballots Found At A Warehouse In Fulton Count, Georgia?)

Angeli has appeared at rallies that support Trump and dispute the 2020 presidential election results, according to Newsweek. For instance, he was photographed by Reuters at a “Stop the Steal” rally in front of the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona on Nov. 7.

Some social media users attempted to point to a cropped photo of Angeli at a Black Lives Matter march in June as evidence for their claims. However, the full photo shows he was carrying a “Q sent me” sign. Brett Lewis, who first shared the photo, told The Associated Press that he saw Angeli disrupting the event.

After Lin Wood, a lawyer who has voiced baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud, tweeted photos of Angeli with the claim that he is a member of antifa, a man who identified himself as Angeli refuted it in a tweet.

“Mr. Wood. I am not antifa or blm,” the user tweeted in part. “I’m a Qanon & digital soldier. My name is Jake & I marched with the police & fought against BLM & ANTIFA in PHX.”

Evidence-less claims that people filmed and photographed breaking into the Capitol with pro-Trump flags were antifa started circulating widely on Wednesday, according to NCB News.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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