Anderson Cooper slams Trump Jr. over ‘sick’ conspiracy theories about Florida shooting

Anderson Cooper slams Trump Jr. over ‘sick’ conspiracy theories about Florida shooting
CNN's Anderson Cooper assailed Donald Trump Jr. for "liking" a tweet containing a "sick" conspiracy theory about the Florida school shooting. One conspiracy theory accused the shooting survivors of being "actors that travel to various crisis [sic] when they happen." (Image Source: YouTube screenshot composite)

CNN host Anderson Cooper slammed Donald Trump Jr. for “liking” a tweet that featured a conspiracy theory about one of the survivors of the horrible school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Here’s the segment from CNN:

Here’s what Cooper accused Trump Jr. of:

“Today, four funerals of children,” Cooper said, “students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killed in last week’s shooting. Cara Loughran, she was 14 years old, Gina Moltalto was also 14, Carmen Schentrup, she was 16, and Peter Wang, he was 15.”

“The U.S. Army is awarding heroism medals to Peter Wang and two other victims, Alaina Petty, and Martin Duque Anguiano,” he explained. “Those three were all students in the school’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Program, ROTC.”

“Something else has been happening,” Cooper continued later, “as these kids bury their friends, some sick conspiracy theories have been cropping up.”

Cooper showed a tweet documenting how a lawmaker’s aide was spreading a conspiracy theory accusing shooting survivors of being “actors that travel to various crisis [sic] when they happen.”

“The aide is named Benjamin Kelly, his boss is Republican Shawn Harrison, who had Kelly fired immediately after,” he continued. “The right thing to do certainly.”

“The whole idea of crisis actors is an accusation we’ve seen pop up time and time again from ‘alt-right’ and far-right conservative and conspiracy websites,” he added.

“The fact that, what would possess Benjamin Kelly to say that in the first place is stunning,” Cooper continued. “Where he would get such a ridiculous idea? And as I said, the reality is, most recently from the Sandy Hook shootings. The whole sick ‘crisis actors’ business came up there as well, and just as a reminder, 20 young children lost their lives there.”

Cooper called various websites by name for accusing a shooting survivor of using the media attention to defend the FBI, and explained how far the theory traveled on social media.

“And this part’s important because, while we’d normally be reluctant to even give these conspiracy theories any oxygen at all, it’s what happened next that makes it newsworthy,” he continued, “because the person who hit the ‘like button’ on the [conspiracy story] tweet was none other than the president’s own son, Don Jr.”

Cooper continued on to interview David Hogg, the Stoneman Douglas student who survived the shooting, and his father about the conspiracy theory targeting them on social media.