At official at Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department is drawing severe criticism for peddling conspiracy theories about the tragic mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and comparing survivors of the massacre to Nazis.
Kevin Sabo, who serves as the acting chief of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs in the department’s Bureau of Reclamation, recently shared an article from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on his Facebook page that showed young gun control activist David Hogg with a raised fist.
“Is this child giving a nazi salute?” the Interior official wrote in his now removed social media post. “What the hell is the left doing to these kids?”
This is not the first time Sabo has targeted the Parkland students. As the Talking Points Memo found out in its review, Sabo not only has a long history of sharing controversial posts slamming the shooting survivors and their movement to end gun violence in schools, but was also once convicted of trying to harm his ex-girlfriend.
“The Nazis took everyone’s guns away too. A lot of similarities with these kids,” he reportedly wrote in another Facebook post that has since been taken down.
On Feb. 25, Sabo claimed the Parkland shooting was staged. He said it was tied to Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the FBI, the county’s sheriff department and the CIA’s supposed “Project MKUltra mind control techniques,” according to the publication.
“Did any students die by friendly fire? Was Cruz a lone gunman or not a gunman at all?” he wrote at the time.
Sabo also mentioned the notorious and soundly debunked "pizzagate" conspiracy theory in the same rant.
He also reportedly shared articles defending President Donald Trump’s “shithole countries” comment and the ones calling former President Barack Obama an “anti-Semite.”
“The kids are being paid by the Democrats to riot. In this administration, it’s the only work they can get,” Sabo wrote of the protesters on Trump’s Inauguration Day.
While it’s extremely troubling for a Trump administration official to share baseless accusations and publicly bash teenagers demanding a safer America, it is extremely important to mention how Sabo, who previously served as a staffer on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee before being promoted to work as general counsel on the Senate Commerce Committee and later as the chairman of 11th District Republican Committee, also has a long history of criminal charges against him — including a domestic abuse-related charge dating back to 2000.
Sabo was reportedly convicted and disbarred in D.C. after he cut the brakes on his ex-girlfriend’s car, causing her to crash into a fence. Thankfully, she wasn’t seriously injured. However, Sabo was convicted of “attempted malicious wounding” and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
In 2011, he unsuccessfully attempted to be readmitted to the bar. His petition was denied partly because he had pleaded guilty to another criminal charge of “larceny by false pretenses” in 2009 for taking some items from Home Depot without paying for them and then attempting to return them.
The charges were dismissed after he completed his community service hours and paid a fine.
He was reinstated in 2012.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Reclamation’s public affairs office told the Talking Points Memo it has “no comment on the personal views expressed on his Facebook page.”
“Civil servants are guaranteed First Amendment rights to communicate their own views on their own time on their own social media sites, even if some would find those views disagreeable or the primary sources erroneous,” stated Public Affairs Chief Dan DuBray.
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst