- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday “liked” a pair of tweets touting a conspiracy theory smearing David Hogg, a 17-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior who pleaded for gun control in the wake of surviving last week’s rampage in Parkland, Florida.

The student told CNN over the weekend that his father formerly worked for the FBI, fueling far-right conspiracies that caught the attention of the president’s eldest son.

“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,” conservative talk show host Graham Ledger wrote in a tweet liked Tuesday by Mr. Trump, 40.

Mr. Ledger’s tweet linked to an article published by The Gateway Pundit, a far-right blog, titled: “EXPOSED: School Shooting Survivor Turned Activist David Hogg’s Father in FBI, Appears To Have Been Coached On Anti-Trump Lines [VIDEO].”

“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,” the article reads in part.

The president’s eldest son liked another tweet about two hours later touting a similar article published at another far-right blog, True Pundit, according to @TrumpsAlert, an automated Twitter account that notifies followers each time a member of the Trump family interacts on Twitter.

“Outspoken Trump-Hating School Shooting Survivor is Son of FBI Agent; MSM Helps Prop Up Incompetent Bureau,” reads the headline of the True Pundit article.

“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,” the article said. “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.”

Both articles were published Monday, five days after former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire inside the school with legally acquired AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others, according to police.

The FBI subsequently acknowledged ignoring a tip received last month concerning Mr. Cruz, 19, prompting the president to pin the blame afterwards on federal investigators.

“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable,” the president tweeted Saturday. “They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no confusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

“I think it’s disgusting, personally,” the student told CNN afterwards. “My father’s a retired FBI agent and the FBI are some of the hardest working individuals I have ever seen in my life…It’s wrong that the president is blaming them for this.”

Mr. Trump Jr. did not immediately return an email seeking comment.


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