Trump is desperate to justify his threat to send the military to “dominate” America’s cities. He is also shaken by his declining poll numbers.

So he tweeted that the 75-year-old Buffalo man who was roughly shoved to the ground by police officers and got a bad head wound was actually part of an ANTIFA (“anti-fascist”) group of provocateurs, and he staged his own mishap, perhaps as a publicity stunt.

Unfortunately for Trump, the world saw the video of 40-50 armed men advancing past a frail-looking elderly white man who was pushed to the ground and lay bleeding. Did he have them surrounded? Hardly.

When Republican senators were asked about Trump’s latest conspiracy theory, no one would defend him. Romney said it was embarrassing and unworthy.

The reality is that the injured man, Martin Gugino is a longtime activist, advocating for peace, the environment, and social justice. But no one who knows him thinks he is part of Antifa, Trump’s nemesis.

The New York Times wrote of him:

It is true, his friends admitted: Martin Gugino is an activist, a seasoned peacenik who in a lifetime of protest has taken part in demonstrations against military drones, climate change, nuclear weapons and police brutality.

But Mr. Gugino is also a football fan, they said, a mild-mannered bachelor and a Buffalo native who returned to his hometown some years ago to care for his ailing mother.

The one thing he is not, however, those who knew him said, is what President Trump suggested he was on Twitter Tuesday morning: a wily Antifa provocateur.

Mr. Trump’s tweet — none of it backed by fact — raced across the internet all day even as Mr. Gugino, 75, still lay in the hospital, recovering from the serious head wound he sustained on Thursday night when two Buffalo police officers shoved him to the ground at a demonstration marking the police killing of George Floyd.

A cellphone video of the encounter has now been seen by millions of people and led to charges being filed against the officers on Saturday.

In the video, a tall and lanky Mr. Gugino can be seen in front of the police with what seems to be a cellphone in his hand. Two of the officers shove him and he falls backward, cracking his head against the ground. As blood seeps out of his right ear, several officers walk by him.

The president’s tweet on Tuesday, which appeared to accuse Mr. Gugino of having instigated or even faked the encounter, was not the first time Mr. Trump has sought to blame Antifa — a word that describes a loose collective of anti-fascist activists — for encouraging what has now become nearly two weeks of nationwide demonstrations…

But even by his own standards, Mr. Trump appeared to test the boundaries of credulity by trying to brand a retired septuagenarian computer programmer as a follower of Antifa, whose adherents are, for one thing, generally much younger.

Some Antifa activists, practicing a tactic called Black Bloc, have been known to dress like ninjas and wear masks or balaclavas during protests while shattering windows and scuffling with the police.

Near Buffalo, however, the idea that Mr. Gugino was one of them struck many as absurd.

“Antifa? Oh, heavens no,” said Judy Metzger, 85, a longtime friend who lives near Mr. Gugino in Amherst, a suburb of the city. “Martin is a very gentle, a very pleasant person.”

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Gugino spent most of his working life in Cleveland, where he specialized in creating computer databases, his friends and colleagues said.

He went back to his hometown to care for his mother, and after she died, he lived alone in her home, finding fellowship at the Western New York Peace Center and at other parts of the city’s close-knit left-wing activist community.

His friends describe him as earnest and gentle.

Trump is convinced he’s a terrorist.

Governor Cuomo demanded that Trump apologize for insulting a peaceful demonstrator.

You think the blood coming out of his head was staged?” Mr. Cuomo asked, sounding incredulous. “How reckless, how irresponsible.”

Trump will never change. He watches rightwing television and consumes conspiracy theories.

I keep wondering: aren’t we all anti-fascists? Who supports fascism?