GOP Congressman Claims Charlottesville’s Deadly White Nationalist Rally Was a Left-Wing Set-Up

And that’s why Heather Heyer was killed?

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) at a cannabis conference in Berlin, Germany, in April 2016. Paul Zinken/AP

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California’s Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher apparently believes the deadly white nationalist protests that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month were the result of a left-wing plot orchestrated to score political points against President Trump.

A profile published in the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday exposes Rohrabacher’s alternative thinking:

Rohrabacher isn’t buying that conspiracy theory, but he’s deep into another — that Democrats were behind last month’s white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va. Oh, and calling them white nationalist riots is a liberal media deceit, he said.

“It’s all baloney,” Rohrabacher said.

Under Rohrabacher’s scenario, a former “Hillary and Bernie supporter” got Civil War re-enactors to gather under the guise of protecting a Robert E. Lee statue there.

“It was a setup for these dumb Civil War re-enactors,” Rohrabacher said. “It was left-wingers who were manipulating them in order to have this confrontation” and to “put our president on the spot.”

Those of you who are fans of conspiracy connoisseur and conservative commentator Alex Jones, host of “Info Wars,” will recognize that scenario as one of his dreamscapes, which is “Pants on Fire” groundless, according to the nonpartisan Politifact.

One wonders if Rohrabacher believes these same unidentified “left-wingers” were also somehow responsible for James Alex Fields Jr., who’d been protesting alongside white nationalists in Charlottesville, ramming his car into a crowd of counter-protesters and brutally killing Heather Heyer.

Rohrabacher—the pro-Russia, pro-Trump, pro-pot, embattled congressman from California’s 48th district—is facing a field of nine challengers in the 2018 primary. The DCCC has identified him as vulnerable, but as the Chronicle explains, unseating him won’t be easy—even if he continues to peddle such insane conspiracy theories.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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