On Thursday, Campus Reform’s Nikita Vladimirov shared a video in which professor of microbiology, Michael LaMontagne approached to volunteers at a Turning Point USA booth at the University of Houston, Clear Lake.
In the video, LaMontagne includes in a bizarre exchange with the students:
LAMONTAGNE: …create division, that you’re probably receiving Russian funding.
MALE TPUSA VOLUNTEER: Oh, Russian funding. That is awesome. No, [we’re not receiving] Russian funding – that’s crazy.
LAMONTAGNE: Are you sure? Are you positive?
The male TPUSA volunteer, as well a a female volunteer, then stated that they are a 501c3 non-profit, to which LaMontagne replied: “[I get] that you’re a non-profit, but who is profiting from this?”
MALE TPUSA VOLUNTEER: Who is profiting from this? I guess the employees of it.
FEMALE TPUSA VOLUNTEER: We’re here to educate.
FEMALE TPUSA VOLUNTEER: We’re here to educate. We’re not profiting off of any of it.
LAMONTAGNE: Right, and I’m educating you that this group here is advocating against the very institution that its existing in – public education, higher education, federal funding for research – is advocating against national missions like NASA, right?
MALE TPUSA VOLUNTEER: And we are pro AR-15, pro Glock.
Later in the exchange, LaMontagne challenged the students on gun control:
LAMONTAGNE: I’ve looked into this, and there is actually absolutely – what we know for sure is if guns were the solution to violence, we would have none in this country. We would have no violence in this country.
MALE TPUSA VOLUNTEER: People are the cause of violence, not firearms. You had an increase in violence in England after they outlawed guns; [they] had an increase in violence in Australia after they outlawed guns.
LAMONTAGNE: You must be out of your freakin’ mind if you believe that.
MALE TPUSA VOLUNTEER: No, I state statistics.
When Campus Reform reached out to LaMontagne for comment, he said that he was “unaware” he was being recorded, arguing that such a recording could be a “violation of [his] privacy.” When asked by Campus Reform if he stands by his Russian funding remarks, the professor stated in part: “No, I am not claiming it. I am claiming that a campus organization that is presenting a political viewpoint has to make their donors public.”