Montgomery died at the age of 80 on Tuesday from COVID-19, per a Politico report citing remarks from "two friends" of his including Caleb Hull and Vic Maggio.
And while a statement on Kirk's death (see above) from Turning Point USA called Montgomery a "first believer" and referred to him as a "senior advisor," the report notes that Montgomery considered himself a co-founder of the conservative nonprofit that deleted a tweet mocking protective masks following news of his death.
Kirk—who said in a statement that he couldn't "put into words" how much Montgomery's death had "saddened" him—had action taken against him by Twitter earlier this year after making false statements of effectiveness regarding hydroxychloroquine, which has become a frequent topic among Trump-aligned conspiracy theorists amid the pandemic. Kirk has also been among those who have defended anti-maskers, saying earlier this month on his podcast "Do not force me to wear a mask … I'm not gonna do it."
In June, Trump gave a speech to Turning Point USA's Students for Trump group in Phoenix, Arizona. While safety measures were touted, many in the crowd chose to go maskless for the event. In December, Rudy Giuliani spoke at a Turning Point USA event in West Palm Beach, pictured above.