Florida Republican's aide fired for false suggestion shooting survivors are actors

Danny Woods
February 22, 2018

An aide to a Florida state congressman was sacked Tuesday after claiming that survivors of the Parkland mass shooting were "actors" who did not attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Sheryl Acquarola, a 16 year-old junior from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is overcome with emotion in the east gallery of the Florida House of Representatives after the representatives voted not to hear a bill banning assault rifles. Harrison says he is seeking more information from aide, Benjamin Kelly.

An hour later, Harrison sent out this tweet: "Tonight Mr. Kelly was terminated from his position as my District Secretary". I am appalled at and strongly denounce his comments about the Parkland students. Harrison said after the email was revealed that he did not share Harrison's opinion, and his office announced Tuesday night that Kelly had been fired. Kelly said in his tweet that he was trying to "inform a reporter". This was not my responsibility.

"Claiming some of the students on TV after Parkland are actors is the work of a disgusting group of idiots with no sense of decency", Rubio wrote.

In a later Tweet from his account, which by Wednesday appeared to no longer exist, Kelly quoted the Bible: "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free".

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"But as such, it is also true that I. go to Stoneman Douglas High School and I was a witness to this".

Additionally, the right-wing website Gateway Pundit ran a piece saying student David Hogg was "coached" by his father, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.

On Tuesday, a Florida lawmaker's aide was sacked after he made disparaging comments about both Hogg and Gonzalez, The Washington Post reported. Hogg called Trump Jr.'s attitude "immature, rude, and inhuman". "Anything to disparage such brilliant and passionate youth who have the courage to stand up and do what they're doing, I just think it's outrageous and disrespectful for someone to make those allegations".

"I want every American to be able to own a gun that has a mentally stable mind - a person that has a credible background, that doesn't have any previous like major convictions, and somebody that's not going to go out and commit these atrocities, because those are the people that are at fault here", he said. Leary told CNN it had been in response to his story that published in the morning.

But Broward County Schools superintendent Robert Runcie vouched for both students personally to the Times.

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