Former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) has joined a growing far-right smear campaign against the students who survived last week’s massacre in a Parkland, Florida high school.
Since the shooting, which killed 17 people, the students have become outspoken advocates for gun control to prevent future acts of violence.
Kingston attacked the students as mere stooges for “left-wing groups who have an agenda” during an appearance on CNN Tuesday morning. Kingston added he believed George Soros was actually orchestrating the students’ activism.
Kingston’s claims were met with disbelief by Alisyn Camerota. “Jack, I’m sorry. I have to correct you. I was down there. I talked to these kids. These kids were wildly motivated,” Camerota said.
Kingston made similar claims on Twitter, suggesting the survivors were being manipulated by Soros, Antifa, and the DNC.
— Jack Kingston (@JackKingston) February 19, 2018
Kingston’s comments follow multiple articles smearing the students on Gateway Pundit, a Trump-supporting website that has White House press credentials. Gateway Pundit has attacked one of the students, David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, because his father is a retired FBI agent. One article suggests that “Hogg’s father, who does not even work for the FBI, has tasked his son with talking about gun control to take the heat off the agency.”
Why would the child of an FBI agent be used as a pawn for anti-Trump rhetoric and anti-gun legislation? Because the FBI is only looking to curb YOUR Constitutional rights and INCREASE their power. We’ve seen similar moves by them many times over. This is just another disgusting example of it.
A separate article on Gateway Pundit, entitled “Student School Massacre Survivors and CBS Reporter Party Like Rock Stars,” attacks Hogg and other students for smiling in a photograph.
Gateway Pundit’s “reporting” has been picked up by One America News Network, another Trump-supporting outlet that has been credentialed by the White House.
#RT @GrahamLedger: Could it be that this student is running cover for his dad who Works as an FBI agent at the Miami field office Which botched tracking down the Man behind the Valentine day massacre? Just wondering. Just connecting some dots… https://t.co/eMFOepw0Me
— One America News (@OANN) February 20, 2018
Later in Tuesday’s CNN broadcast, two Parkland survivors, Brendan Azbug and Delany Tarr, responded to the allegations they were being coached.
Azbug called the claims “very despicable” and said Kingston should apologize. Tarr said she would not let the “hating and trolling” get in the way of her activism.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that Kingston is a former congressman.