Team Trump Activist Whose Brother Died at Sandy Hook Breaks With POTUS Over Laura Loomer

A gun-rights advocate who recently announced he had joined President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign team appeared to split with the president Tuesday over his support for Laura Loomer, who claimed victory in her Republican congressional primary in Florida.

"Great going Laura," Trump wrote in a tweet, celebrating the right-wing politician's victory. "You have a great chance against a Pelosi puppet," he said, suggesting he believes Loomer, who has repeatedly come under fire over racist comments, could defeat Democratic incumbent Lois Frankel.

Tweeting out against Trump's endorsement, JT Lewis, a gun rights advocate who lost his brother in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, said he believed Loomer has no place in the GOP.

"Laura Loomer is a Parkland and Sandy Hook hoaxer. She has no place in the Republican Party I know!" Lewis wrote on Tuesday.

Laura Loomer is a Parkland and Sandy Hook hoaxer. She has no place in the Republican Party I know!

— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) August 19, 2020

Lewis, who dropped out of a race to become Connecticut state senator for the 28th district ahead of the August primaries, lost his own younger sibling, Jesse Lewis, in the Sandy Hook shooting that saw 20 children and six staff members killed nearly a decade ago.

Loomer has worked with Infowars, which has spread false claims about the shooting, asserting it was a hoax, in addition to making similar claims about the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

In fact, following the Parkland shooting, Loomer herself made baseless claims that the students speaking out against gun violence in the wake of the massacre were using statements scripted for them.

"It's obvious these kids are reading a screen or notes someone else wrote for them," Loomer tweeted. "Notice how media is only talking to the same group of students. They aren't talking to the pro gun ROTC students who actually saved lives, unlike these students."

In addition to controversy over her comments on survivors of the Parkland school shooting, Loomer has also faced backlash over repeated racist comments against Muslims.

Loomer has previously branded Islam a "cancer on society", in addition to describing herself as a "proud Islamaphobe."

She has previously been banned from Twitter in 2018 for violating the social media giant's rules on hateful conduct.

She has also been permanently banned from the use of ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft after launching into an online rant about running late for a meeting because she was unable to find a non-Muslim driver.

Newsweek has contacted Lewis, Loomer's campaign team and the Trump campaign for comment.

Laura Loomer
Laura Loomer waits backstage during a 'Demand Free Speech' rally on Freedom Plaza on July 6, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Loomer has won her Republican primary race in her 2020 election bid. Stephanie Keith/Getty