Skip to main content

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.
Screen Shot 2021-01-07 at 10.53.22 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2021-01-07 at 10.51.57 AM

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.

Next Up

flickr - criticla care nurses nov 2021

Allina parts ways with 53 of 27,000 employees over vaccine mandate

That's about 0.2% of the health care system's workforce.

US Bank Stadium, Vikings fans

Matthew Coller: How will Vikings fans react on Thursday night?

Will years of disappointment be revealed if the Vikings struggle against the Steelers?

dinner party holidays gathering celebration 1

Health officials encourage getting vaccinated and tested before the holidays

The state has launched a "Celebrate Safely, Minnesota" campaign to make it easier to get tested and vaccinated.

Kjellberg booking photo crop

Charges: Parking dispute, scuffle preceded fatal stabbing

The suspect said he was upset about neighbors and their friends regularly parking on his property.

Dave Hutchinson

Hennepin Co. Sheriff injured in rollover, admits to drinking beforehand

The sheriff, in a statement, called it an "inexcusable decision."

CDC - vaccine band aid

COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in MN dominated by unvaccinated

The latest figures from October show a disproportionate number of deaths among the unvaccinated.

Jaxon Howard

Top MN football recruit Jaxon Howard to announce college decision

He's the son of former Minnesota Viking Willie Howard.

18 wheeler - tractor trailer - semi truck

MN trucking firm that used 'strength tests' to screen out women drivers to pay $500K

The company will pay $500,000 and offer jobs to the women it discriminated against.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

On-the-run man charged with murder in fatal shooting at gas station

The suspect hasn't been arrested, and court documents say he poses a risk to public safety.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, December 8

The latest details from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 9.27.07 AM

Couple ending festive lights display after dispute with sheriff over trespassing

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald addressed complaints from over the summer on Facebook Saturday.

st louis co missing person terry - edit

MN man, 60, still missing despite 'extensive search efforts'

Local authorities are now asking for the public's help locating the man.


Screen Shot 2021-01-07 at 10.53.22 AM

KSTP says Jay Kolls' Capitol story fell below its standards

The Twin Cities ABC affiliate says 'we will do better going forward.'

Screen Shot 2020-05-30 at 2.04.47 PM

Walz activates National Guard in response to possible threats to the Capitol

The FBI has warned that right-wing, anti-government extremists may be plotting an attack.


Another Minnesotan arrested in connection with Capitol insurrection

The 26-year-old from Lindstrom is facing federal charges.

storm the capitol rally st. paul minnesota state capitol

BCA finds 'no criminal wrongdoing' among those at 'Storm the Capitol' rally

Inflammatory comments were made by speakers, but no charges will be brought.

U.S. capitol insurrection

3 more Minnesotans charged in connection with U.S. Capitol insurrection

Two of the men are accused of using a law enforcement shield during the insurrection.

U.S. capitol insurrection

Gov. Walz: Americans need to stand together after 'attempted insurrection' at U.S. Capitol

Walz and others blame President Donald Trump for inciting the mob to attack democracy.