U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has shut down the Twitter account for the agency’s West Texas division after it retweeted and liked questionable content, including offensive tweets about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection has become aware of unauthorized and inappropriate content that was posted to the @CBPWestTexas Twitter account,” CBP commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement released on Saturday. “CBP will take action to deactivate the account and has referred the matter to the Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate. The tweets do not reflect the values of the administration and our work to rebuild a humane, orderly, and secure immigration system.”
Magnus added that it was “totally unacceptable and disappointing that any CBP Twitter account was used to R/T offensive, unauthorized content.”
Totally unacceptable and disappointing that any CBP Twitter account was used to R/T offensive, unauthorized content. We’ve removed the content and will deactivate the account. The Office of Professional Responsibility will investigate. This must not happen again. pic.twitter.com/O0Vwr3K7nI
— CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus (@CBPChrisMagnus) September 11, 2022
On September 10 the @CBPWestTexas Twitter account retweeted two posts from former senior Trump administration adviser Stephen Miller that were critical of President Joe Biden, as The Daily Beast first reported over the weekend. Miller was largely responsible for former President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policy and was criticized for advocating a white nationalist perspective in the administration.
What is up with the @CBPWestTexas Twitter feed right now? This is one of the most egregious examples I’ve ever seen of a US federal law enforcement agency defying elected political leadership in official communications. pic.twitter.com/iON2AmqPqs
— Adam Isacson (@adam_wola) September 10, 2022
That same day, Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council, unearthed other offensive and partisan tweets liked by the @CBPWestTexas account in recent months.
“Looks like the person running @CBPWestTexas forgot to log off of the work account and started using it like their personal account,” Reichlin-Melnick wrote on Saturday. “The ‘likes’ are a dead giveaway—anti-Biden stuff, playground anti-gay insults against Buttigieg, etc…”
Looks like the person running @CBPWestTexas forgot to log off of the work account and started using it like their personal account. The “likes” are a dead giveaway—anti-Biden stuff, playground anti-gay insults against Buttigieg, etc…
— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@ReichlinMelnick) September 10, 2022
The anti-gay insults directed at Buttigieg included two tweets from two different accounts posted on July 20, referring to the out transportation secretary and former Democratic presidential candidate as “Pete Buttplug.”
In a tweet, U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), who represents El Paso, where the West Texas CBP division is located, said that “The person running the @CBPWestTexas media account has absolutely no business being in public service. Especially if allowed to carry a gun and a badge.”