- Some on the far right are going after a survivor of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, who has recently made multiple appearances on TV-news outlets.
- The student, David Hogg, whose father is a retired FBI agent, has been critical of President Donald Trump and other politicians for their response to the shooting.
- Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., liked a pair of tweets questioning the student’s motive for speaking out about the shooting.
Some of President Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters have started going after a survivor of last week’s shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, who has since made a series of appearances on TV-news outlets.
That student, David Hogg, has been featured on CNN and CBS following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead and more than a dozen others injured.
Hogg, a student journalist who says he interviewed classmates during the shooting, has since become one of the most prominent student voices, calling for stricter gun-control measures and characterising the response of politicians – and specifically Trump – as “disgusting.”
Some far-right outlets have pointed to Hogg’s father’s being a retired FBI agent to suggest something nefarious in the student’s frequent media appearances.
“Why would the child of an FBI agent be used as a pawn for anti-Trump rhetoric and anti-gun legislation?” Lucian Wintrich wrote on The Gateway Pundit. “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.”
On True Pundit, a story linking Hogg and the FBI ran under the headline “Outspoken Trump-Hating School Shooting Survivor is Son of FBI Agent; MSM Helps Prop Up Incompetent Bureau.”
“The kid who has been running his mouth about how Donald Trump and the GOP are teaming to help murder high school kids by upholding the Second Amendment is the son of an FBI agent,” an unnamed author wrote. “David Hogg is a school shooting survivor in Florida. At least that is what the mainstream media has told us. We wouldn’t be surprised by anything involving the FBI at this point.”
Pro-Trump accounts have shared the stories on Twitter and in some cases have thousands of retweets. The conservative One America News Network promoted a tweet suggesting Hogg may be “running cover for his dad who works as an FBI agent at the Miami field office.”
Echoing a prominent conspiracy theory swirling in some right-wing circles on the internet, Trump claimed over the weekend that the FBI missed warning signs about the Florida gunman because of its investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election and whether his campaign colluded with Moscow.
“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter,” he wrote Saturday just before midnight. “This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”
The FBI has more than 35,000 employees and runs hundreds of investigations simultaneously, and a special counsel outside of the Justice Department is leading the Russia investigation. The bureau, however, acknowledged last week that it failed to follow protocol in following up on a tip last month about the suspect in the Florida school shooting.
Trump has repeatedly accused leaders within the Justice Department and the FBI of being biased against him.
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