GOP congressman claims some Palestinians are ‘paid actors’ pretending to be dead

Rep Cory Mills says ‘mainstream media ... corrupts the minds of every single American’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Sunday 05 November 2023 18:31 GMT
GOP Rep. Cory Mills claims some Palestinians ‘paid actors’ pretending to be dead

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Republican Florida Representative Cory Mills claimed that “paid actors” are pretending to be killed in Gaza under the bombardment from Israel following the 7 October attack by Hamas.

“What the mainstream media is saying about the indiscriminate fire and the actors — I mean you literally have paid actors who are pretending to be killed, pretending to be treated,” he said in Kissimmee outside Orlando on Saturday, where the Florida Freedom Summit was being hosted.

“So what I ask every individual as we already do here in America, educate yourself and find good, positive outsources and stop trusting mainstream media that corrupts the minds of every single American at home,” he added.

The baseless notion of paid actors being used to simulate real-world events to push a political objective has been used in rightwing circles in the past, notably by far-right broadcaster Alex Jones who was successfully sued by parents of victims of the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut school shooting after he falsely claimed the massacre was a hoax.

Last year, Mr Jones was ordered to pay almost a billion dollars to Sandy Hook families.

The claim that crisis actors are pretending to be killed in Gaza has been shared across social media, with old footage and false captions being used to mislead people, The Daily Beast notes.

Mr Mills founded a company that sells arms to foreign governments, but he has declined to specify which ones and he has also refused to confirm who owns the firm, Insider reported in March.

When he arrived in Congress, he handed out grenades to fellow members along with a note saying, “I am eager to get to work with you on behalf of the American people”.

Mr Mills has made previous claims that crisis actors are being used to create fake news events.

In early September of this year, he wrote on X that he believed that recent anti-Semitic events had been carried out by “paid actors”.

“I wholeheartedly condemn any racist or anti-Semitic hatred, or harassment in our communities in Central Florida,” he wrote, seemingly in reference to a Neo-Nazi rally that took place at Disney World, located in the district Mr Mills represents.

“I will continue to push policies that support and protect our Jewish friends, and our ally, Israel,” he wrote.

“While I believe the recent events were orchestrated with paid actors, and should be investigated by Congress for USG involvement, it still reminds us of the bigotry and hatred in America that we must root out,” he added.

On 4 September, Neo-Nazis attacked a Jewish reporter using anti-Semitic slurs and they chanted “Jews will not replace us,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

Mr Mills’s comments come as efforts began on Sunday to resume evacuations of injured people from Gaza as well as foreign nationals via the border crossing into Egypt at Rafah, Reuters reported.

At a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ramallah in the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded a ceasefire in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

“We believe it will (reopen) this afternoon,” a State Department official said, according to the news agency, but they added: “Don’t hold me to it.”

“We demand that you stop them from committing these crimes immediately,” Mr Abbas told Mr Blinken, who has resisted calls for a ceasefire amid concerns it would benefit Hamas, the group in charge of Gaza that has been labelled as a terror organisation by the US and the EU.

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