Parkland School Shooting Survivor David Hogg Responds to Conspiracy Theories: 'I'm Trying to Be an Activist'
As David Hogg has become the face of the teenagers' crusade to change gun laws, he has also become the target of conspiracy theorists looking to discredit him.
Social media is erupting with tens of thousands of claims that Hogg and other outspoken students are so-called #crisisactors and were hired to pose as victims of last week's shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
One tweet attacking Hogg was 'liked' by Donald Trump Jr.
“Guys, I’m not an actor," Hogg told Inside Edition Wednesday. "I'm trying to be an activist."
Brian Stelter, host of CNN's Reliable Sources, spoke to Inside Edition about the claims against Hogg.
"This is an attempt to discredit and dismiss the student survivors," he said. "There are some people, these trolls, making up these stories that do not want to hear what the students have to say."
A conservative website, The Gateway Pundit, published a story with the headline, "Exposed: David Hogg, Whose Father Is An FBI Agent, Appears To Have Been Coached On Anti Trump Lines."
An aide to a Florida state legislator actually told The Tampa Bay Times that Hogg and other student leaders are "not students but actors that travel to various crisis."
The aide has been fired and has since issued an apology, saying, "I made a mistake. I meant no disrespect."
There is also speculation the Russians may be fueling conspiracy theories in a bid to spread discord in America.
"The intelligence community has been very clear that Russia continues to exploit divisions in the U.S. and try to turn us against one another," Stelter added.
Thousands of students staged walkouts across Florida Wednesday as thousands more rallied in the state capital of Tallahassee, calling for tougher gun control laws.