The mother of one of the victims of the 2018 Parkland school shooting, said she spoke to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., after the freshman lawmaker was hit with widespread backlash last week for outlandish comments she made on social media, including one suggesting the shooting was a “false flag.”
According to Linda Beigel Schulman, whose son, Scott Beigel, was killed in the attack, Greene said does not believe major school shootings from the past decade were either false flags or staged. But, Schulman said, Greene declined to join her to publicly disavow them alongside her on MSNBC.
“It’s wrong, it’s just wrong,” Schulman said during an interview with “Weekends with Alex Witt,” when asked about her thoughts on Greene’s promoting conspiracies about prominent mass shootings. “She should not be telling lies,” Schulman added.
She said a congressman helped connect her with Greene, and 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 that Greene said it was okay 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 couldn’t.
“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 from NBC News.
Greene first 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 also in the past expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy.
Republicans politicians on Sunday were pressed about how the party should respond to Greene, who is now facing 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, told ABC’s “This Week.” “They elected her and she’s going to run for reelection and she’ll be accountable for what she said and her actions.”
Asked about Greene liking comments on Facebook ahead of 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 reelection. 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 later added.
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 later this week, a senior GOP aide told NBC News.
“I’d certainly vote her off committee,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “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 with 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” to see her lose her committee assignment to the House 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.”