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Parkland victim's mother says she spoke with Marjorie Taylor Greene about school shooting conspiracies

Republicans politicians were pressed about how the party should respond to Greene, who faces calls for expulsion from Congress.
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The mother of one of the victims of the 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, said she spoke to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., after Greene drew widespread backlash last week for outlandish comments she made on social media, including one suggesting that the shooting was a "false flag" operation.

The woman, Linda Beigel Schulman, whose son, Scott Beigel, was one of 17 people killed in the attack, said Greene told her that she does not believe major school shootings from the past decade were false flag events or that they had been staged. But, Schulman said, Greene declined to join her to publicly disavow them on MSNBC.

"It's wrong. It's just wrong," Schulman said in an interview on "Weekends with Alex Witt" when she was asked for her thoughts about Greene's promoting conspiracies about prominent mass shootings. "She should not be telling lies," Schulman added.

She said that a member of Congress helped connect her with Greene and that they spoke over Zoom on Saturday.

"When we started our conversation, I was totally upfront and told Congresswoman Greene that I was going to be on MSNBC today," Schulman said. "Parameters were set, and the only topic discussed would be the school shootings at Parkland and Sandy Hook and that the conversation would be totally confidential. Our talk went very well."

She described the conversation as "friendly and cordial" and said Greene told her it was OK for Schulman to share from their discussion as she wished.

"My first question to Congresswoman Greene was do you really believe that Parkland and Sandy Hook were false flags and staged?" Schulman said. "That was a real important question to me. To this moment, I cannot fathom that somebody could say something like that. Her answer was unequivocally no, I do not."

Schulman said that while she "very much wanted to" trust Greene, she felt she could not.

"Unless she wants to get in front of the public and wants to right the wrong lies being espoused out there and wants to disavow the things that she said, no, I can't believe it," Schulman said, adding: "Maybe inside of her she believes it. I don't know. I have no idea. I'm not inside of her, but you can — words are very powerful, but actions speak louder than words."

Greene's office did not immediately return a request for comment.

Greene came under scrutiny last week following a CNN review of her Facebook page, which showed that she had liked posts in recent years calling for violence against prominent Democrats while promoting extremist conspiracy theories. She was also criticized for a video she posted to YouTube last year in which she harassed Parkland survivor David Hogg, who is now a prominent gun control activist. Greene has in the past expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy.

Republicans politicians were pressed Sunday about how the party should respond to Greene, who faces calls for expulsion from Congress or removal from the committees she serves on.

"The people of her district elected her, and that should mean a lot," Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, said on ABC News' "This Week." "They elected her, and she's going to run for re-election, and she'll be accountable for what she said and her actions."

Asked about Greene's liking comments on Facebook before her congressional run expressing support for the execution of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as CNN reported, Hutchinson said: "I'm not going to answer that question as to whether she's fit to serve because she believes in something that everybody else does not accept.

"I reject that," he said. "But she's going to stand for re-election. I don't think we ought to punish people from a disciplinary standpoint or party standpoint because they think something a little bit different."

"I would not vote for her," he said later.

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Greene has not backed down, announcing Saturday that former President Donald Trump called her recently to express his support. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will meet with Greene this week, a senior GOP aide said.

"I'd certainly vote her off committee," Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press." "In terms of eviction, I'm not sure. ... I think a district has every right to put who they want there. But we have every right to take a stand and say you don't get a committee, and we definitely need to do that."

In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said, "Republican leaders ought to stand up and say it is totally unacceptable what she has said.

"I saw a couple videos over the weekend," he said. "And one had to do with violence, as I see it. And there is no place for violence in our political dialogue. By the way, there is no place for violence in our country. I mean, this is something that we have got to get away from. So, yes, I think people ought to speak out clearly."

He said he "wouldn't be surprised" if Greene lost her assignment to the Education and Labor Committee.

"And, you know, I think that is the way to send a message," he said. "The voters who elected her in her district in Georgia ought to be respected. On the other hand, when that kind of behavior occurs, there has to be a strong response."