Students who survived the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and families of the victims are calling for Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s resignation, after comments surfaced that showed her agreeing with people who said the 2018 shooting was a “false flag” operation.
Seventeen people, including 14 students, were killed in the shooting, which ignited a nationwide movement for stricter gun control laws spearheaded by March For Our Lives, a group started by survivors of the shooting.
“(T)he shooting at our school was real. Real kids died and our community is still grieving today,” the Parkland chapter of the organization wrote in a tweet directed at Greene. “You should be ashamed of yourself and resign from congress. Conspiracy theorists don’t deserve a seat in the people’s house.”
CNN has reached out to Greene’s office for comment.
Greene’s comments came to light in a report by the liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America. The article points to a Facebook post Greene made in 2018, sharing an article about the $8,700 monthly pension given to the school resource deputy who failed to enter the school as the shooting was ongoing.
According to screenshots captured by MMFA, Greene agreed with commenters who said the shooting was a “false flag” operation, a conspiracy theory that the shooting was set up or designed to look like it was carried out by another individual or group. (Similar lies have been perpetuated about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, prompting the harassment of the victims’ families.)
One comment on Greene’s post read, “It’s called a pay off to keep his mouth shut since it was a false flag planned shooting.”
“Exactly,” Greene wrote in response, per MMFA’s screenshots.
Another commenter referred to the pension as a “(k)ick back for going along with the evil plan,” to which Greene responded, “My thoughts exactly!! Paid to do what he did and keep his mouth shut.”
Facebook removed the comments for violating its policies after the MMFA report was published, according to a Facebook spokesperson.
‘My daughter and 16 others were murdered that day’
Survivors of the shooting and their family members have since condemned Greene and called for her to step down.
David Hogg, a former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student and activist, wrote on Twitter that he had “one message” for Greene.
“Apologize Now or continue to spread these conspiracies and we will be sure to make the next 2 years of your life not only your last in Congress but a living hell as well.”
Hogg added that advocates would “also accept your resignation in place of an apology.”
Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed in the shooting, tweeted at Greene after her comments came to light, writing, “Will you be resigning? For the good of this country, you should. Parkland was not a made up false flag event. My daughter and 16 others were murdered that day.”
Greene did not address her past comments in a statement posted on Twitter after the MMFA story came to light. She instead argued against “‘gun-free’ school zones” saying she was once “locked in a classroom in 11th grade” due to a student who brought guns to her high school and “personally” understood students’ fears.
She also criticized the deputy, writing he “allowed children to be left defenseless against an active shooter. When he was supposed to protect them, he was a coward and refused to go in. He allowed 17 people to die.”
In a separate tweet Thursday, Greene called MMFA “communist bloggers” who “run the same playbook of lies and smears on people they feel threatened by.”
Cameron Kasky, another former student, wrote of her statement, “This, beyond being a stupid and meaningless message, does not in any way address her calling it a false flag. Now she’s playing full-on gaslight. Don’t let her.”
Guttenberg said in response, “You are a fraud who must resign. Be prepared to meet me directly in person to explain your conspiracy theory, and soon.”
Other groups calling for gun control, like Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, also called for Greene’s resignation.
“Dangerous conspiracy theorists who peddle disinformation like Rep. Greene ever further damage the credibility of Congress,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, said in a statement. “Taylor Greene’s lies traumatize the survivors of shooting tragedies and put their safety in danger. She must resign immediately.”
Greene has history of spreading conspiracy theories
Greene, a newly elected congresswoman representing Georgia’s 14th District, has displayed an affinity for conspiracy theories in the past, including QAnon, whose adherents believed former President Donald Trump was fighting a secret war against a cabal of Satan-worshiping child abusers who were running the government.
Greene backed away from the conspiracy theory during her campaign, telling Fox News last August that QAnon “wasn’t part of my campaign” and that she “chose another path” when she “started finding misinformation.”
MMFA also reported on another Facebook post by Greene, in which she said she was “told that Nancy Pelosi tells Hillary Clinton several times a month that ‘we need another school shooting’ in order to persuade the public to want strict gun control.”
CNN’s KFILE has previously reported on Greene’s history of peddling baseless conspiracy theories like ‘Pizzagate,’ a precursor to Qanon. KFILE also reported Greene once worked for a conservative blog that once questioned if the shooting in Parkland was a “massive false flag.”
At the time, Greene told CNN she wore “attacks” from the media as a “badge of honor,” but did not address the past blog posts.