In a Tuesday morning tweet, President Donald Trump pushed an unfounded conspiracy theory suggesting a 75-year-old protester in Buffalo who was pushed to the ground by police was an "ANTIFA provocateur."
In the tweet, Trump claimed 75-year-old Martin Gugino, "was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment."
Trump claimed his information came from One America News Network, a conservative news channel known for its favorable coverage of the president. He did not provide a link or a video of the report.
Gugino remains in serious but stable condition at Erie County Medical Center. Gugino was part of a group protesting outside of Buffalo's City on Thursday against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death. Video from the scene shows police in riot gear shove Gugino out of the way. When an officer offers help him up, another officer appeared to chastise him for doing so.
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
Gugino's attorney, Kelly V. Zarcone responded to the tweet Tuesday morning saying, "there is no need to go around name calling, accusing people of being things they're not. everything will work itself out." She added, "Martin has always been a peaceful protester, I don't know where that comes from."
Watch the video of the incident below. NOTE: The video contains images of blood and may not be suitable for all viewers.
Just about an hour ago, police officers shove man in Niagara Square to the ground (WARNING: Graphic). Video from: @MikeDesmondWBFO pic.twitter.com/JBKQLvzfET
— WBFO (@WBFO) June 5, 2020
The two officers involved have been suspended without pay and are facing assault charges.
Friends of Gugino told Scripps station WKBW in Buffalo on Monday that he's a longtime peaceful activist.
"He'd never shout or oppose someone. He would ask questions if he thought something was not right," friend Terrence Bisson said.
This story was originally published by WKBW in Buffalo, New York.