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

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate