GOP Aide Fired for Calling Shooting Survivors 'Actors'February 21, 2018 11:35am

An aide to a Republican lawmaker in Florida was fired Tuesday for spreading a bizarre conspiracy theory about survivors of the Parkland school shooting. Benjamin Kelly, a staffer to state Rep.

Shawn Harrison, used a government email account to email the Tampa Bay Times, claiming that two students filmed speaking out against gun violence were "not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen." Asked to back up his claim, Kelly emailed back with a YouTube conspiracy video containing a news clip showing 17-year-old student David Hogg in California last summer.

After he was contacted by a reporter, Harrison said Kelly would be suspended because of the "insensitive and inappropriate allegations."

Kelly, whose comments were strongly denounced online by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, was later fired by House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

But the conspiracy theories go far beyond Harrison's office, the New York Times reports. Right-wing media hosts have also accused the student activists of being "crisis actors"—or of being coached by adults to call for gun control and defend the FBI.

"Everything they’re doing is right out of the Democrat Party’s various playbooks," Rush Limbaugh said Monday. "It has the same enemies: the NRA and guns." BuzzFeed reports that Donald Trump Jr.

liked two tweets Tuesday that claimed Hogg, son of a retired FBI agent, was being coached to denounce Trump and defend the agency. Hogg called Trump Jr.'s attitude "immature, rude, and inhuman."

More From Newser

This article originally appeared on Newser: GOP Aide Fired for Calling Shooting Survivors 'Actors'

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Student activists hold Florida bus tour after mass shootingStudent activists from a high school that suffered a mass shooting have kicked off a March for Our Lives Florida bus tour, where they plan to visit all 27 of the state's Congressional districts
Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz warned student: 'Something bad is about to happen'Florida prosecutors have released the witness statement of a student who survived the Parkland school shooting after a face-to-face encounter with gunman Nikolas Cruz, the Miami Herald reports.
No charges for 5 teens who mocked drowning man, didn't helpFive Florida teenagers will not be prosecuted after they videotaped and mocked a disabled man as he drowned and didn't help
Missing Alabama soldier found dead at Camp BlandingSearchers have discovered the body of an Alabama Army Reserves soldier who was reported missing during a training exercise at Camp Blanding in Florida.
FILE - In this March 29, 2017 file photo, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi speaks at the Women's Empowerment Panel, at the White House in Washington. Protesters confronted Bondi at a showing of a documentary about children's TV host Fred Rogers, and they questioned the Republican's stands on immigration and health care. The Tampa Bay Times reports Bondi received a police escort Friday, June 22, 2018, when several members of Organize Florida confronted her as she left a Tampa theater after seeing "Won't You Be My Neighbor" about Mr. Rogers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
Clarification: Florida Attorney General Confronted story
Protesters heckle Florida AG Pam Bondi outside showing of Mr. Rogers documentaryFlorida Attorney General Pam Bondi was heckled by protesters at the showing of documentary about children’s TV host Fred Rogers on Friday, challenging her support of the Trump administration’s stand on immigration and the state’s decision to join a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices