- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2018

Louis Marin, the vice chairman of the Republican Executive Committee in Orange County, Florida, offered an explanation Friday for sharing articles on social media touting conspiracy theories involving topics ranging from school shootings to white supremacists.

“These posts are designed to stimulate discussion and debate on a private Facebook page,” Mr. Marin’s spokesperson said in a statement. “Marin would’ve also explained that at no time did any of these shared posts generate any vibrant conversation because most of our followers are intellectual adults.”

Questions involving Mr. Marin’s social media activity emerged earlier this week after Media Matters, a watchdog organization funded by liberal megadonor George Soros, linked him to “Florida Republicans United,” an exclusive “pro-Trump and pro-America” Facebook group with over 2,000 members.

In addition to creating the Facebook group and serving as one of its seven administrators, Mr. Marin has repeatedly shared articles among its members promoting conspiracy theories surrounding topics ranging from the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, to last summer’s deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Media Matters first reported.

On April 1, according to a screenshot posted by Media Matters, Mr. Marin posted an article in the Facebook group titled “Does This Stunning Email Indicate Parkland Shooting was Just Another FALSE FLAG Designed to Take Your Guns?”

On Aug. 19, less than a week after a woman was killed while protesting the “Unite the Right” rally, Mr. Marin shared another article in the group alleging ties to Mr. Soros and the U.S. government. Hosted on a website called “Bare Witness Central,” the article was headlined “Bombshell Connection Between Charlottesville, Soros, CIA,” and cited a since-deleted video originally released by Infowars publisher Alex Jones and featuring another right-wing media personality. 

“As evidenced this weekend, a civil war is brewing in this country, laying the foundation for a violent coup to take out Trump,” said the article. “Soros-funded NGO’s have been able to achieve regime change in other countries by quite literally teaming up with Neo-nazis and ‘moderate’ terrorists. Now, investigative reporter Lee Stranahan reveals the same players involved in the Ukraine overthrow are working behind the scenes to oust President Trump.”

Mr. Marin declined to discuss the Facebook posts further when pressed by News 6, an Orlando-based television station, the outlet reported Friday.

“I do not want to waste any more time on a ‘nothing burger’ biased story designed as a hit piece,” he told reporters.

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