Trump Suggests 'Set Up' Involving Buffalo Protester

President implies, sans evidence, Martin Gugino is antifa actor who faked fall; Gugino is still in hospital
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2020 9:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump is pushing a conspiracy theory that claims the elderly Buffalo protester who remains in the hospital after he was allegedly assaulted by two police officers faked his fall. "Could be an ANTIFA provocateur," Trump wrote in a Tuesday tweet. Trump, offering no evidence, said 75-year-old Martin Gugino was pushed "after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment," per the Hill. "I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?" he went on, tagging One America News. Per Mediaite, Matthew Gertz of Media Matters tracked down the relevant OAN clip, which claims Gugino was using a cellphone to scan for police communications.

"The tactic known as skimming is an old trick used by antifa to locate police officers and plan violent activities, bypassing the police response," the report claims. It goes on to refer to Gugino as an "agitator." In a widely-shared clip, Gugino is seen approaching officers outside City Hall on Thursday while holding a cellphone in his right hand, which he appears to use to motion toward an officer. He's then pushed and falls to the ground, blood leaking from his ear. His lawyer tells WKBW that Gugino, still hospitalized in serious condition, has always been a peaceful protester. "There is no need to go around name-calling, accusing people of being things they're not," Kelly Zarcone adds, referring to Trump's tweet. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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