A teen survivor of last week’s Florida mass school shooting has called Donald Trump Jr. immature after the president’s son liked some questionable tweets.
David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and several of his fellow students have been talking to news media outlets about the grief and horror that they and their fellow students are suffering since the Feb. 14 shooting. They have also been calling out lawmakers for not reforming gun laws.
Two websites apparently aren’t buying Hogg’s activism and eloquence, claiming that Hogg, 17, is a “plant” who is being coached and scripted because his father is a retired FBI agent.
After Trump Jr. liked two of these tweets, Hogg called Trump Jr.’s peddling of conspiracy theories “immature, rude, and inhuman,” according to BuzzFeed News.
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“I think it’s a testament to the sick immaturity and broken state of our government, when these people feel the need to peddle conspiracies about people that were in a school shooting where 17 people died and it just makes me sick,” Hogg told BuzzFeed.
One of the tweets, by One America News, asked “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…”
BuzzFeed News embedded the tweet on its website, though it has since been removed from Twitter. The tweet linked to an online article by Lucian Wintrich, a contributor to The Gateway Pundit, a political website in St. Louis.
“It appears (Hogg) was heavily coached on lines and is merely reciting a script,” Wintrich writes. “Frequently seen in the footage mouthing the lines he should be reciting. Hogg becomes flustered multiple times, is seen apologizing, and asking for re-takes.”
Business Insider once described The Gateway Pundit as “a far-right website that has repeatedly misidentified attackers and continues to promote debunked conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama’s birthplace, among other misinformation.”
Trump Jr. also liked another tweet linking to a similar story by True Pundit that mocks Hogg as “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.”
Media Matters notes that Hogg has been under fire by conspiracy theorists and right wing media outlets since the day after the shooting, when one far-right account noted in a since-deleted tweet that Hogg was suspicious for speaking so eloquently.
Hogg, who has 37,700 followers on Twitter, is not backing down. He continues to call out politicians for their inaction on gun control. The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was arrested and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.