GOP lawmaker: Charlottesville 'a setup' by left-wingers manipulating Civil War re-enactors

GOP lawmaker: Charlottesville 'a setup' by left-wingers manipulating Civil War re-enactors
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Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) is spinning the violence that unfolded in Charlottesville, Va., last month into a full-blown conspiracy theory, claiming that people with left-wing views manipulated Civil War re-enactors to pose as white nationalists to pressure President Trump.

“It was a setup for these dumb Civil War re-enactors,” Rohrabacher said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday.

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“It was left-wingers who were manipulating them in order to have this confrontation,” the GOP lawmaker continued, maintaining that they conspired to “put our president on the spot.”

The mastermind behind such a plan, he claims, is a former “Hillary and Bernie supporter” who wrangled the Civil War re-enactors to come together and stage a protest against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. 

Rohrabacher's comments are in response to violence that broke out after white nationalist groups descended on Charlottesville in August to protest the removal of the statue.

One person was killed and 19 others wounded after a man who took part in the white supremacist rallies allegedly drove his car into a crowd. 

Trump was roundly criticized for his response to the violence, in which he insisted that "both sides" were to blame — an assertion he repeated on Thursday.