- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2017

An Idaho state representative says it’s “plausible” that the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month was orchestrated to make President Trump look like a racist.

State Rep. Bryan Zollinger, a Republican, on Thursday shared an article on Facebook by American Thinker, titled, “Charlottesville and Its Aftermath: What if It Was a Setup?”

The article suggests, without evidence, that former President Barack Obama, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, and billionaire investor George Soros could somehow be connected in planning and orchestrating the clashes in Charlottesville, which turned deadly on Aug. 12 after a reported Nazi sympathizer purposely rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19 others.

“The ridiculous campaign by virtually every media outlet, every Democrat and far too many squishy Republicans to label Trump some kind of racist and Nazi sympathizer is beginning to have the stink of an orchestrated smear,” Patricia McCarthy wrote. “The conflagration in Charlottesville is beginning to feel like a set-up, perhaps weeks or months in the planning.”

Mr. Zollinger, in a follow-up comment on his post, said the conspiracy theory could be true.

“I’m not saying it is true, but I am suggesting that it is completely plausible,” he said, adding that “many of the protesters were Soros-funded.”

Mr. Zollinger said he appreciated that there’s “someone out there asking people to think for themselves and use some logic and reason rather than spout what the media, also known as the communications branch of the Democratic Party, is selling.”

Mr. Zollinger told the Post Register in an interview that while he thinks the claims in the American Thinker article are “probably wrong,” they’re still “plausible.”

“In hindsight, maybe it was a mistake to post it,” he said. “I didn’t mean for it to ruffle any feathers.”

His post remained active on his Facebook page as of Monday afternoon.

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