3 years later, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is still denying the reality of the Jan. 6 right-wing attack on the US Capitol

3 years later, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is still denying the reality of the Jan. 6 right-wing attack on the US Capitol

Last Saturday marked three years since the Jan. 6, 2021, right-wing MAGA attack on the U.S. Capitol. Despite video evidence and federal criminal charges against Donald Trump, members of his administration and 1,200 attack participants, the facts of the day are still up for debate, at least according to Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson.

A day after the attack, Robinson put out a statement that blamed the insurrection on “rogue individuals” and said that the “acts were not patriotic.” He also attacked politicians for “creating this environment” where “people believe that … they can and should commit radical acts of violence in order to push an agenda that they believe in.” But Robinson wasn’t referring to himself or Trump, who stood on a stage in Washington, D.C., and directed protesters to head to the Capitol and “fight like hell” shortly before the attack began.

While Robinson claimed to condemn the violence in the immediate aftermath, all of his other statements and actions since then paint a different picture, raising questions about his commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting democracy.

More concerningly, though not at all surprisingly, Robinson has embraced conspiracy theories related to the attack, echoing former President Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election being stolen. He has also repeatedly minimized the Jan. 6 attack and rejected any suggestion that Trump should bear any responsibility for it or be held accountable.

According to WRAL, Robinson referred to Jan. 6 as a “minor thing” at an East Wake Republican Club meeting just last month. At a Mitchell County event on July 21, 2022, Robinson described the insurrection as a “small debacle” and inaccurately said that only “one unarmed white woman was killed.”

In a July 12, 2022, Facebook post, Robinson called those who were arrested during the Jan. 6 attack “political prisoners.”

Robinson’s statements on the attack expose a troubling pattern of hypocrisy. He presents himself as a defender of law and order, yet he is willing to cast doubt on a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol and entertain baseless conspiracy theories. His doublespeak undermines the gravity of the attack and sends a dangerous message that such behavior is acceptable.

Furthermore, Robinson’s stance on Jan. 6 – as well as just about everything else – raises concerns about his fitness to serve as governor. The North Carolina governor holds significant power, including overseeing the state’s National Guard. If elected, Robinson’s soft stance on political violence could have serious consequences for the state’s security and stability.

A man who meets with Ginni Thomas, one of the most well-known and outspoken election deniers in the country, in the aftermath of an attack on the nation’s capital is certainly no defender of democracy. Voters deserve leaders who will condemn attempts to undermine democracy and uphold the rule of law and Mark Robinson certainly doesn’t fit the bill.

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Patrick Zarcone

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