In newly uncovered remarks, North Carolina’s Republican Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson claimed in 2018 that Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby were victims of a left-wing “plot” to destroy them for their “so-called sexual crimes.” Robinson also called on his followers to “stand up against” the supposed “plot to build up a climate of fear, to shut people's mouths.”
Robinson is a right-wing commentator who became lieutenant governor of North Carolina in January 2021. He is widely viewed as the favorite for the GOP gubernatorial nomination after officially declaring his candidacy last month.
Robinson became a right-wing media darling after he delivered a viral pro-gun rant at a Greensboro City Council meeting after the 2018 Parkland mass shooting, and he used the ensuing fame to build a profile as a pro-gun pundit.
Robinson has garnered attention for his anti-abortion positions, antisemitic remarks, and other bigoted rhetoric, including in 2021 when he likened gay and transgender people to “filth.” Last year, Robinson also made headlines when he declared in a speech, “We are called to be led by men,” not women. Robinson is a prolific poster of hateful and conspiratorial rhetoric on Facebook, including smearing LGBTQ people as “devil-worshipping child molesters,” and suggesting that Planned Parenthood provides abortion services to do the “devils work, with liberals support, for the New World Order.”
CNN's Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck reported yesterday that Robinson has “mocked school shooting survivors and once justified shooting protesters.”
Robinson has a history of defending high-profile men reported for rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. In a previously unreported interview from 2018, Robinson defended Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, claiming that there was a left-wing conspiracy to accuse them of “so-called sexual crimes” so that people would just “shut-up.”
In 2017, reports that Weinstein had assaulted and harassed dozens of women during his career spurred the #MeToo movement and a global reckoning with sexual abuse and harassment in culture. (Weinstein was later convicted of rape.) Cosby has been the subject of at least 60 sexual misconduct and crime reports and was convicted of aggravated assault in 2018. He was released from prison in 2021 after the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania overturned his conviction because of due process violations.
While many Americans saw a reckoning and accountability for powerful men engaged in inappropriate behavior, Robinson saw a left-wing conspiracy comparable to Stalinist purges. During a May 2018 interview on Politics and Prophecy with Chris Levels, Robinson accused “the left” of creating “a climate of fear” and employing Stalinist tactics, comparing the accusations against Weinstein and Cosby to when Stalin “arrested some of his top generals and top leaders” and “threw them in gulags … So that the common man would be really afraid.”
Robinson claimed, ”That is what the left is doing with the Harvey Weinsteins, the Bill Cosbys, the Matt Lauers. They have picked out of the elite group of people that have committed these so-called sexual crimes.” (Lauer was fired in 2017 after a sexual misconduct review found he had engaged in “inappropriate sexual behavior” toward a female colleague.)
The Republican commentator elaborated that, “It's the same old communist Marxist playbook: Create a climate of fear to make people shut-up and do what you want them to do, and if you can't shut them up, then you destroy and throw them in jail like they did with Cosby.”
In other previously unreported remarks, Robinson continued his defense of Weinstein and Cosby in a December 2018 Facebook video, claiming that the reports against them are “all part of that same plot to build up a climate of fear, to shut people's mouths.” In the video, Robinson urged his Facebook followers to “stand up against” the “plot” that destroyed Weinstein and Cosby and to “keep making our voices heard.”
Talking Points Memo previously reported that Robinson wrote in 2015 of Cosby: “The only ‘fact’ that has come out of this Bill Cosby story is that the Illuminati will destroy you if you piss them off.”