Rubio: 'Disgusting group of idiots' made up claim that shooting survivors are actors
© Greg Nash

Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioWashington fears new threat from 'deepfake' videos Overnight Defense: Second Trump-Kim summit planned for next month | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking Afghanistan trip plans | Pentagon warns of climate threat to bases | Trump faces pressure to reconsider Syria exit Pressure mounts for Trump to reconsider Syria withdrawal MORE (R) on Tuesday lashed out at a "disgusting group of idiots" who made up the claim that students appearing on TV as survivors of last week's deadly high school shooting were actors. 

A staffer for Florida state Rep. Shawn Harrison (R) said the two high schoolers who survived the tragedy pictured in a Tampa Bay Times story about the students criticizing Rubio and other lawmakers are "not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen." 

Harrison later said in a tweet of his own that the staffer, who was acting without Harrison's approval, has been placed on leave:

The students from the Parkland, Fla., high school voicing support for gun restrictions following the shooting are now facing increased scrutiny from the right as a result of their appearances on mainstream news networks.  

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Former GOP Rep. Jack KingstonJohon (Jack) Heddens KingstonTop Lobbyists 2018 Dan Rather: The voice of Florida survivors will change status quo Shooting survivors push for action in Trump meeting MORE (Ga.) said Tuesday that while he was "heartbroken" for the survivors of the tragedy, "their sorrow can very easily be hijacked by left-wing groups who have an agenda."

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students have become vocal advocates for changes to firearm laws since the shooting last Wednesday when 17 students and school faculty were killed, calling out the Florida legislature and Congress for their inaction. 

Several Stoneman Douglas students were in attendance on Tuesday when the Florida state legislature voted down a measure to consider a ban on assault rifles like the one used in Parkland.

Dozens of students held a "lie-in" protest near the White House on Monday, demonstrating the amount of time it took for the 19-year-old alleged gunman to complete his killing rampage.