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Father of Parkland student denounces conservative conspiracy theories

Tom Bogg/YouTube

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Kevin Hogg—the father of Marjory Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg, who has been outspoken in the wake of the mass shooting at his school last week—addressed on Tuesday the brewing right-wing conspiracy that he had coached his son to speak out against President Donald Trump.

“I don’t know how they believe that there is such a thing,” Kevin Hogg told Anderson Cooper last night about a narrative being pushed about his son in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, one of the worst school shootings in American history.

Though conspiracies about mass shootings always swell up in their aftermath, conservatives have gone particularly hard after Parkland, possibly because it has brought about a fierce push for gun control.

The theory that David, who is 17, was coached to speak out against Trump grew from a post by the Gateway Pundit, a hyper-conservative site with a track record for pushing conspiracy theories.

Yesterday, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., lent credence to the post by liking it on Twitter. David addressed the attempts to smear him as well.

“The fact that these people are being critical of me as a witness and personally as a victim to this incident and having to witness this and live through it again and again, it is unbelievable,” David said.

But this isn’t the only conspiracy theory being peddled in the wake of the shooting about David. Benjamin Kelly, an aide to a Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-Fla.) was fired after he emailed a reporter accusing Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, another vocal student from Stoneman Douglas, of being “crisis actors.”

Kelly had emailed Tampa Bay Times reporter Alex Leary about Hogg and Gonzalez.

The email had come unprompted after Leary published an article where he detailed how Parkland students were being attacked for their outspokenness. Kelly flagged a YouTube video where Hogg was seen in California, saying that since he was once filmed in another state, he must have been brought in during the shooting’s aftermath to speak in favor of gun control.

The Gateway Pundit and other prominent conservatives have also claimed the children have ties to George Soros, a wealthy liberal donor.

The conspiracies being peddled about Stoneman Douglas students children come as Trump plans to meet with victims of several school shootings to talk gun-control proposals.

David Covucci

David Covucci

David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]