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Attorney General Bill Barr in the Oval Office on May, 28. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Without citing evidence, Attorney General Bill Barr denounced what he described as "planned" violence from "far-left extremist groups" on Saturday, in response to many U.S. cities erupting in protest through Friday evening over the killing of George Floyd.

Driving the news: President Trump quickly echoed Barr's statement on Twitter, saying that "'Crossing State lines to incite violence is a FEDERAL CRIME! Liberal Governors and Mayors need to get tougher on protestors or the federal government will use "the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests."

Reality check: Neither the president nor Barr provided information about why they believe protesters are crossing state lines to incite violence. Mass protests broke out Friday night in multiple U.S. cities across multiple states, with some escalating into violence and property destruction.

  • Barr's denouncement against allegedly organized demonstrations followed Trump's earlier claim on Saturday that protestors outside of the White House were "professionally organized."

What they're saying: Barr said that "outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda" and that "in many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and left extremist groups, far-left extremist groups, using antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from outside the state to promote the violence."

  • "It is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting, and we will enforce those laws," Barr said.
  • "80% of the RIOTERS in Minneapolis last night were from OUT OF STATE," Trump tweeted after Barr's press conference. "They are harming businesses (especially African American small businesses), homes, and the community of good, hardworking Minneapolis residents who want peace, equality, and to provide for their families."

Go deeper ... Trump: White House protestors would be met with "vicious dogs" if they breached fence

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the Minnesota governor and St. Paul mayor comments.

Go deeper

Bill Barr praises killing of self-proclaimed antifa member

Bill Barr in the White House in August. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr in a statement Friday praised law enforcement for tracking and killing Michael Forest Reinoehl, a self-described antifa member suspected of killing a right-wing activist who was part of a pro-Trump caravan in Portland, Oregon, on Aug. 29.

Why it matters: Barr claimed that the "streets of our cities are safer" after Reinoehl's death, and that the event is an "unmistakable demonstration that the United States will be governed by law, not violent mobs."

Jimmy Carter says he's used absentee ballots for more than five years

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Georgia on April 28, 2019. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former President Jimmy Carter released a statement in support of absentee ballots on Thursday, saying that he has "been using them for more than five years."

Driving the news: Attorney General Bill Barr in a CNN interview on Wednesday referenced a 2005 report from the Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Carter, that said absentee ballots "remain the largest source of potential voter fraud," to argue that concerns about mail-in voting predate President Trump's push against it.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.