Donald Trump has warned that the antifascist movement Antifa could be labelled as a terrorist organisation.
The president said “consideration” was being given to declaring the movement, which is composed of autonomous left wing groups and individuals in the US, a major organisation of terror.
The announcement followed a resolution proposed by senators Ted Cruz and Bill Cassidy earlier this month that condemned the movement and called for its designation as a domestic terrorist organisation.
While it is unclear how seriously Mr Trump is considering the idea, he appeared to be supportive of the move and said it “would make it easier for police to do their job.”
“Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
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Antifa is known for its use of direct action, which can include property damage, physical violence and harassment against those they view as fascist, and members of the movement have often clashed with Trump supporters.
Mr Trump added that the international criminal gang MS-13, which has often been referenced by Republicans in immigration debates, could also be labelled as a terrorist group.
Mr Cruz has said Antifa is an organisation “composed of hateful, intolerant radicals who pursue their extreme agenda through aggressive violence.”
He added: “Time and time again their actions have demonstrated that their central purpose is to inflict harm on those who oppose their views."
Antifa received attention in June when Andy Ngo, a conservative writer, was attacked by antifascists amid demonstrations in Portland, Oregon.
Mr Ngo was beaten by protesters who were opposing a march held by the Proud Boys, a patriotic far-right group.