Freshman Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — a consistent backer of absurd and outrageous conspiracy theories — supported the notion that the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School was a planned, false flag attack.
Eric Hananoki of Media Matters flagged two Facebook posts from Greene in May 2018, three months after that shooting claimed the lives of 17 victims, many of them high school students.
Greene had posted a Fox News article noting that former Broward Deputy Scot Peterson — who served as the Stoneman Douglas school resource officer during the attack and whose actions were heavily criticized — had begun receiving a state pension.
One commenter responded to that post, saying, “It’s called a pay off to keep his mouth shut since it was a false flag planned shooting.”
Greene answered, “Exactly.”
Another person replied to the post about Peterson’s pension, calling it a “[k]ick back for going along with the evil plan. You know it’s not for doing a good job.”
Greene responded, “My thoughts exactly!! Paid to do what he did and keep his mouth shut!”
Those comments remain active as of this posting.
Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, now a colleague of Greene’s in the House, condemned her comments in a late Tuesday statement. Deutch has been an advocate for families impacted by the attack.
“Our community was devastated by the tragedy and doing anything other than expressing support for the families and survivors is insensitive, offensive, and shockingly inappropriate for a Member of Congress. It is especially dangerous when lies like these come from people in positions of power and influence,” Deutch said.
“Rep. Greene should disavow these comments, she should apologize to everyone that she has offended, and, most importantly, she should tell her followers the truth. The truth that 17 people were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a mass shooting. The truth that QAnon is a dangerous conspiracy theory.”
Greene gained notoriety after openly backing the ludicrous QAnon conspiracy theory on her way to winning a congressional seat last cycle. The QAnon theory posits a shadowy group of mostly left-leaning deep state officials and Hollywood elite secretly abuse and sacrifice children, and that President Donald Trump was secretly working behind the scenes to expose and destroy the group once and for all.
Trump’s first term ends Wednesday at noon.
Greene has flirted with other conspiratorial nonsense in the past.
She signaled her support for the lie that the 9/11 terrorist attack was a false flag. Greene stated in an interview, “We had witnessed 9/11, the terrorist attack in New York and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and the so-called plane that crashed into the Pentagon. It’s odd there’s never any evidence shown for a plane in the Pentagon. But anyways, I won’t — I’m not going to dive into the 9/11 conspiracy.”
After her comments were flagged by Media Matters in August, Greene backed off those remarks.
“Some people claimed a missile hit the Pentagon. I now know that is not correct,” Greene wrote on Twitter before deflecting blame for broadcasting those false beliefs. “The problem is our government lies to us so much to protect the Deep State, it’s hard sometimes to know what is real and what is not.”
Greene also stated she believed former President Barack Obama was a secret Muslim. Obama was not a secret Muslim.
Now Greene, representing Florida’s neighbor to the north in Georgia, has been shown to call into question one of the most tragic attacks in the state’s history. It’s unclear whether she’ll again retreat from spreading those lies once confronted, or whether she’ll stand by her claims that the deadly shooting was somehow planned.
A separate post later in 2018 signaled that Greene’s belief system runs deeper than simply questioning the Parkland attack. She claimed such mass shootings were orchestrated by Democrats to gin up horror and outrage among the public in order to pass stricter gun laws.
That outrageous theory is, of course, untrue. Yet Greene argued, “I am 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.”