Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) said on Sunday that Antifa riots in Portland are a "myth."
"That’s a myth that’s being spread only in Washington, D.C.," Nadler said after being asked if he disavowed violence in Portland.
Nadler's comments contradict numerous news reports on the protesters—many of whom identify themselves as members of Antifa. Protests have continued in Portland for nearly 60 nights in a row, mainly targeting Hatfield Federal Courthouse and local police stations.
The Portland Police Department officially declared the protests a riot Sunday after approximately 5,000 to 6,000 protesters surrounded the courthouse and began shooting fireworks at the building. Last weekend, rioters barricaded federal officers in the courthouse and launched fireworks at the building. President Donald Trump deployed the officers to Portland earlier this summer to curb violence in the city sparked by the death of George Floyd in late May.
Antifa has a history of involvement in violent protests. In 2017, members caused nearly $100,000 worth of damage to the University of California, Berkeley campus after protesting Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial right-wing speaker. In 2019, the group counter-protested a "No Marxism in America" group at UC Berkeley, attacking the protesters and police with smoke bombs.