An aide to a Florida House lawmaker was fired Tuesday after he said that Parkland students who were speaking out on gun control after Wednesday’s mass shooting were paid actors.

Benjamin Kelly, the aide to Republican Rep. Shawn Harrison, emailed Tampa Bay Times reporter Alex Leary to claim that two Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who appeared on CNN weren’t actually survivors of the attack.


“Both kids in the picture are not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen,” Kelly reportedly emailed the newspaper. When the Tampa Bay reporter asked for proof, the House aide sent a follow-up email claiming the same student who appeared on CNN, David Hogg, was in another state hundreds of miles away.

“There is a clip on you tube that shows Mr. Hogg out in California. (I guess he transferred?)” Kelly’s email reportedly stated.

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