The violence that broke out in Charlottesville on August 12, provided both an opportunity for the hate groups involved to recruit or at the very least provide them with some exposure to inflame the debate. With President Trump coming out to blame both sides for the violence, he went even further to blame what he referred to as the "alt-left" his natural reaction to the endless references to the "alt-right" movement led by Richard Spencer.

Trump troll goes after Antifa with petition

On Tuesday, during his speech at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, President Trump mentioned the group Antifa (anti-fascist) by name as one of the "alt-left" groups which has also received coverage in the news.

Last week, a Trump troll that goes by the Twitter user handle "Microchip" shared out a petition which gathered over 300,000 signatures in an effort to declare Antifa a "terrorist" group. The reason for their petition is an attempt to prevent Antifa from gaining strength from hate groups who are being challenged on the ground.

Media's unnamed defense on Antifa

In many panel discussions about the clashing of groups in Charlottesville, the message from the mainstream media has been to provide some support for counter-protesters who stood up against Nazi sympathizers. This has been apparent in arguments among pundits who have been pressed by pro-Trump surrogates to normalize the presence of those hate groups. Mitt Romney made this stance very clear in a popular tweet.

The reaction has often been to push back against the suggestion that Nazis had any claim to anything and made sure that they focused their attacks against the Nazis.

In one interview with the author of a new book titled: "Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook," Mark Bray, said on "Democracy Now!" that the job of Antifa was to confront fascists wherever they organize. Nazi-sympathizers are considered by Antifa to be another form of Nazism which is considered fascist.

Antifa strikes fear into a Neo-Nazi

One white supremacist, Christopher Cantwell, gained notoriety for his cause when he appeared in a documentary by Vice News where he threatened to kill those opposed to his view if he had to. Cantwell was seen using teargas against some counter-protesters who were at the August 12 rally where three people were killed. One of the counter-protesters was killed by a white nationalist who used his car to plow into a crowd of counter-protesters, injuring 19.

Warrants were issued for Cantwell's arrest as his use of teargas against counter-protesters is considered a felony. Cantwell defended himself saying that he brought the teargas because he knew he would need to be prepared to be attacked, likely by Antifa.

In a viral video where he mentioned those warrants, Cantwell claimed that he was afraid for his life and that he might be killed if he were to turn himself in which he eventually did.

Petition meant to strike up debate in Congress

Microchip's petition will likely be sent to Congress as it's received enough signatures to be considered. The creator of the petition says that he understands that it's likely Antifa will not be considered a terror group immediately. Rather, he hopes that it will at least spark debate in Congress.

On June 12, the Department of Homeland Security's site for New Jersey posted a profile for Antifa which provides a list of incidents that involved clashes with white supremacists in the area. Search results for Antifa on the main DHS site auto-complete to read "Antifa terrorist" which shows that many have been searching for that specific reference on the site.

"Alt-right" leader Richard Spencer was seen on video getting punched by a person in Antifa garb this year. The video went viral. Here is the first half of the Mark Bray interview about the organization from Democracy Now!