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KSTP's Jay Kolls under fire for story blaming anti-fascists for U.S. Capitol insurrection

Kolls was the reporter behind the notorious "pointergate" controversy.
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Twin Cities ABC affiliate KSTP is facing criticism over a story it ran Wednesday evening about the assault on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The story, broadcast on KSTP's Nightcast show with a version published on its website, cites Minneapolis-based security consultant Michael Rozin, who commented that there "were some rioters inside the U.S. Capitol who used symbols and had tattoos which seem to be aligned with the ANTIFA movement."

Kolls then repeated this assertion on the broadcast.

Kolls has since received criticism from other members of the Twin Cities media for basing the premise of the story on a single source who wasn't in D.C., without taking into account the wealth of footage from the scene available, and despite the fact that authorities haven't confirmed any kind of anti-fascist involvement.

In a tweet on Thursday in response to Minnesota journalist Sam Richards, Rozin Security said it was working to correct the KSTP story.

"No. We are not sure if Antifa was involved in the event yesterday. We are working with KSTP to correct the story," Rozin Security tweeted.

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Kolls has previously found himself under scrutiny for his involvement in the "pointergate" controversy, when he reported a claim that former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges had flashed a "gang sign" in a picture.

Among those criticizing the latest story are the Star Tribune's Matt DeLong, the Sahan Journal's Mukhtar M. Ibrahim, and former Southwest Journal editor David Brauer.

Bring Me The News has reached out to KSTP for comment.

Disinformation spreads in effort to deflect blame

There is no credible information at this stage to back up the claim that anti-fascists infiltrated what was otherwise a large group of Trump supporters and right-wing extremists that surged into the Capitol while senators tried to affirm Joe Biden's election win.

Several online claims that allege some of those involved in the insurrection have previously been involved in anti-fascist demonstrations have been debunked, while Republican politicians such as Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz have been criticized for trying to deflect blame onto anti-fascists after the crowd that stormed the Capitol was incited by President Donald Trump, who encouraged them to "walk down to the Capitol," and to "show strength" and "fight."

A facial recognition company has asked the Washington Times to retract a story that said its technology was used to identify two Philadelphia "Antifa" members.

The company, XRVision, said its technology actually identified two members of neo-Nazi organizations and a QAnon supporter, Buzzfeed News reports.

“Our attorney is in contact with the Washington Times and has instructed them to ‘cease and desist’ from any claims regarding sourcing of XRVision analytics, to retract the current claims, and publish an apology,” the company said.

Among those sharing debunked conspiracy theories about anti-fascist involvement is Mike Lindell, the Minnesota-based MyPillow CEO who is considering a run for governor in 2022.

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