As conspiracy theorists accuse survivors of the Florida school shooting of being “crisis actors,” President Donald Trump on Saturday retweeted a fringe radio host who once used identical language to peddle hoaxes about the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in 2012.
The host, Wayne Dupree, has also repeatedly attacked survivors of the high school massacre in Parkland, Florida, who are pushing for new gun laws after 17 of their schoolmates and teachers were killed with an AR-15 rifle last week.
Trump’s retweet of Dupree had nothing to do with guns. It was also four years old and didn’t seem particularly relevant to anything in the news.
“It’s ok 2 b black, conservative and love America and not vote Democrat!” Dupree posted in 2014.
“So true Wayne,” Trump wrote as he shared the message on Saturday morning.
So true Wayne, and Lowest black unemployment in history! https://t.co/gDxxJdZQUm
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2018
The president went on to mention record low black unemployment rates under his presidency, something he has repeatedly claimed since the December employment figures came out.
But critics, noting Trump’s history of retweeting far-right figures, accused him of deliberately promoting a school shooting conspiracy theorist just as gun control opponents are trying to discredit the Florida teens with similar hoaxes.
“The President of the United States is lifting up a voice that is smearing the survivors of the Parkland massacre,” the liberal news outlet ThinkProgress wrote as it dug up Dupree’s history of fringe theories.
In 2013 – about a month after a gunman killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., and spurred calls for gun control – Dupree posted several articles on his website about the “Sandy Hook hoax” or “Sandy Hook victim hoax.”
The articles, published under Dupree’s name, accused parents of children at the school, and in one case the medical examiner who identifies the bodies, of being “crisis actors” – impersonating parents to promote “the New World Order agenda of total control, including the control of children’s minds.”
“On and before December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook was infested with espionage operatives,” reads one article. “These operatives posed as the incredible, primarily parents.”
Another: “Now I dont know if this means that everything is fake but it certainly shows that this is a planned event.”
Dupree didn’t immediately respond to questions from The Washington Post.
A Snopes article debunking the Sandy Hook theories noted that they continue to spread today, with hoax articles claiming the same actors are playing parents of victims from last week’s shooting in Florida.
Dupree was one of many people to peddle theories about the Sandy Hook massacre. He has not gone quite so far in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, but other conspiracy theorists accuse student survivors like David Hogg and Emma González, who have used their stories from the shooting to push for gun control, of being “crisis actors.”
Seth Wenig / The Associated Press
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Photos showing those killed in the shootings at Sandy …read more