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Brooklyn Lawmaker’s Aide Cites Bizarre Conspiracy Theory About Charlottesville Murder

A top aide to a New York State Senator cited a bizarre “false flag” conspiracy theory claiming that the man whose car-ramming attack killed protester Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia was a “left wing operative” trying to start a civil war, the news site Kings County Politics reported.

Sen. Simcha Felder’s director of operations in Albany, Darlene Leder, emailed a constituent a link to a conspiracy website claiming that the murderous attack was a “false flag,” or hoax.

The constituent, progressive activist Eliana Meirowitz Nelson, had been asking Felder to issue a statement condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Leder sent the link to back up a claim that the alleged murderer, James Fields, had no neo-Nazi ties.

Felder, who represents the Orthodox neighborhood of Boro Park in Brooklyn, distanced himself from the email in a statement to Kings County Politics. “I don’t know why anyone would send anything from such a crazy website,” he said. “I will discuss my dissatisfaction with her shortly.”

Though he is a Democrat, Felder caucuses with the Republicans in the State Senate, and has been the target of progressive activists.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.




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