Mark Robinson suggests Pearl Harbor might’ve been an inside job, audio reveals

Mark Robinson suggests Pearl Harbor might’ve been an inside job, audio reveals

North Carolina Lt. Gov-elect Mark Robinson is shown at his home in Colfax, N.C., in 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

By Michael McElroy

June 13, 2024

Robinson has also expressed support for several other conspiracy theories, including suggestions that the moon landing may have been faked and that mass shooting victims are actors disguised as victims. 

Soon after Mark Robinson gave the 2018 gun rights speech that thrust him into the Fox News spotlight, he told a far-right radio host that there were “serious questions” about whether President Franklin Delano Roosevelt orchestrated or abetted the Pearl Harbor attacks so that he could enter the US into World War II as part of a communist plot to install the Soviet Union as the dominant force in Europe.

He also said that in the decades since the war, marxist socialists had infiltrated the nation’s government, news media, and education system and were distracting the American people with constant harping about the Holocaust in order to downplay the larger atrocities committed in the name of communism.

“They want people to focus on that while they continue to do their dirty work unnoticed,” Robinson said, “and bring this country down.”

The radio appearance was first reported by The Daily Mail, but his comments on Pearl Harbor are only part of Robinson’s extensive history of expressing conspiracy theories, including saying that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the 9/11 attacks were an inside job and if the moon landing was faked. (They weren’t and it wasn’t)

Mark Robinson suggests Pearl Harbor might’ve been an inside job, audio reveals

Here is a quick rundown of some of the other conspiracies Robinson has backed outright or flirted with online and in public comments.

Pearl Harbor

On the radio program Politics and Prophecy, Robinson and Chris Levels, the host, repeated the false claim that Pearl Harbor was a false flag aimed at drawing the US into the war over the objection of the American people. 

Historians and several investigations have widely debunked the conspiracy that FDR had foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attacks and refused to stop them.

Robinson’s evidence? That Roosevelt focused on Europe and the Nazis after declaring war on Japan.

“Japan is the one that bombed us, but most of our material and effort went to Europe,” Levels said.

“Went to Europe,” Robinson agreed.

“It really calls to question the motives and the suspicion around our entire introduction into the war,” Robinson said.

“I’m not prepared to say our government intentionally set Pearl Harbor up,” Robinson added, but Levels interrupted him.

“Uh, I will. There’s too much proof, there’s too much proof,” Levels said. (There’s zero proof)

“There’s definitely questions that are out there, serious questions that have been raised,” Robinson said.

Again, the actual record is clear.

While Roosevelt had vowed not to enter the war unless directly attacked, momentum had been steadily growing in Congress to intervene in Europe to stop Hitler’s march, the historian Robert Dallek wrote.

“Although there is no question that Roosevelt was concerned about public support for entering the war, this was not because he thought that he could not obtain a declaration without it—in late 1941, before the Pearl Harbor attack, he had enough votes in Congress to pass a formal declaration of war,” Dallek wrote.

The historical record likewise completely undercuts the claim that Roosevelt somehow ignored the war in Japan.

More than 64,000 soldiers, Marines, and sailors died in the Pacific theater during World War II.

A Vast Communist plot

Most conspiracy theories contain isolated pieces of truth, like a fake building made of a few real bricks. 

In their discussion of World War II, Robinson and Levels mixed historical fact with speculative fiction, drawing unsubstantiated conclusions from events stripped of their context.

For instance, Robinson said, without evidence, that there continued to be a plot to exaggerate the Holocaust, in which Hitler and the Nazis killed six million Jews, in order to undercut the truth of the horrors of the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin and spread socialism in the US. 

It is undeniable that Stalin’s regime was responsible for tens of millions of deaths within the Soviet Union.  He ordered widespread executions of political prisoners and the mass killings of several social classes, not to mention the countless numbers of people who died in Soviet concentration camps.

Stalin’s intensive propaganda machine, however, helped censor even Western journalists, making it difficult to understand the scope of violence as it was happening. Mainstream media outlets have acknowledged their initial failures, and have for decades widely reported Stalin’s killings and corrected the record. There is no widespread denial that Stalin is one of the most violent and oppressive authoritarian leaders in history. 

But since the horrors of the Holocaust are more widely covered than those perpetuated by the Soviet Union, there must be an extremist plot behind it, Robinson seems to be suggesting. 

“We killed the Nazis in 45 and washed our hands of them,” Robinson said. “There’s not any [Nazis] in our government, there’s not any in our education system, but our education system, our media, our government is rife with marxist socialists.”


Robinson has also said that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if 9/11 was an inside job and that he was “very suspicious” of the attacks.

There is zero evidence that American officials orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and there is an abundance of evidence that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda planned, plotted, and carried them out.

Mark Robinson

Mass shootings

Robinson sprang to national attention in 2018 after his heated speech to the Greensboro City Council, accusing council members of violating his rights by trying to cancel a gun show soon after 14 high school students and three teachers were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Robinson was angry, he wrote in his 2022 memoir, because if the city council canceled the gun show, he’d be unable to buy an AR-15, the same style gun the gunman used.

In the weeks before his speech, he mocked the high school survivors who had called for tougher gun laws after the shooting. 

Robinson has frequently suggested that news coverage of mass shootings is a plot by the government to take away legal access to guns.

In a now deleted response to another Facebook user’s comment after the Florida shooting, Robinson accused David Hogg, a high school student and survivor of the shooting, of being a paid actor.

Robinson also included the 2017 shooting that killed 58 people at a concert in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in US history, among the things he was “skeptical of.”

Dangerous lies

Much of Robinson’s activity with conspiracy theories took place on social media before he entered public office. 

But that is where conspiracy theories are most dangerous, several studies show.

Even if relatively few people actually believe that the moon landing was faked or that Pearl Harbor was an inside job, the rumors and baseless accusations, especially coming from a public official, can help undermine public confidence in institutions. 

The moon landing was real, but so is the danger in widespread lies.


  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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