Some defenders of Donald Trump have been trying to claim that real troublemakers at the Capitol riot on January 6 of this year might have been Antifa infiltrators, perhaps trying to make Trump look bad. This is a pretty preposterous idea, but let’s take it at face value for the sake of argument. In fact, let’s go all the way and presume that all of the rioters, every single one of them, were there specifically for the purpose of discrediting Trump and his movement, and that all the real Trumpists were all perfectly nonviolent and understood that they should under no circumstances give even the appearance of a threat of violence, and so they scrupulously avoided any kind of unlawfulness. Fine. Let’s say that’s the case, and that 100% of the mayhem was deliberately engineered by a coalition of Antifa, BLM, Democrats and never-Trumpers, just to embarrass Trump.
That doesn’t exonerate him, and indeed maybe makes it even worse. Why? Because Trump's own actions made it way, way too easy for the rioters to fool us all into believing they were his supporters. He goaded on a crowd with his speech, and whether he actually meant for them to force their way into the Capitol and break stuff, anyone in that crowd could be forgiven for believing that’s what he did mean. It was a completely plausible interpretation, and if it was a misinterpretation, it was a completely predictable one. In failing to predict it, Trump essentially gave his enemies a blank cheque, which they predictably would have cashed.
Now, I don’t actually believe that any of the rioters were secretly Antifa. The simplest, most parsimonious explanation is that they were exactly what they appeared to be: a mob of Trump dupes and deplorables. There might also have been a few foreign intelligence agents seizing the opportunity to gain access to the Capitol and plant listening devices or steal laptops, but again, Trump himself bears the blame for creating that opportunity. It never could have happened but for his ill-conceived encouragement.
So it really isn’t a defence of Trump to allege that the riot was carried out by his enemies. It’s true, though, because he is and always has been his own worst enemy.