The Right Is Attacking the Survivors of the Florida School Massacre

And Donald Trump Jr. is cheering on the conspiracy theories.

Manish Swarup/AP

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Former GOP congressman Jack Kingston on Tuesday doubled-down on his inflammatory allegations that a group of school shooting survivors pushing for tougher gun laws are simply being used by left-wing political groups. Appearing on CNN, the Georgia Republican suggested that billionaire George Soros and other liberal activists had “hijacked” the “sorrow” of survivors of the Parkland, Florida, massacre, who in recent days have been helping organize a series of pro-gun-control protests.

“Do we really think, and I say this sincerely, that 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally?” Kingston said on CNN Tuesday. “I would say to you very plainly that organized groups that are out there like George Soros are always ready to take up the charge, and it’s kind of like instant rally and instant protest.”

Bill O’Reilly also accused the media with applying “extreme peer pressure” on the teenage survivors to promote gun control.

Their remarks coincide with right-wing media stories attacking the credibility of the Florida students who have called for stronger gun laws in the wake of last week’s shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. David Hogg, a Stoneman Douglas senior who criticized the NRA on TV news shows over the weekend, has been the target of conspiracy theories involving his father’s former career at the FBI.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s eldest son raised eyebrows by “liking” the conspiracy theory on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/OANN/status/965764807222792194

Last week, the FBI acknowledged that it had failed to follow-up on a tip it had received earlier this year about the suspected shooter. President Trump then sparked outrage when he suggested that had the FBI not devoted resources to investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, the bureau would have been able to prevent the shooting.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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