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Tag: Social Media

Secret Facebook Group Leads to Termination of 4 Border Patrol Employees

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Four Border Patrol agents have been fired for their role in a secret Facebook group that used demeaning, vulgar, and derogatory language toward deceased migrants and Latina members of Congress.

Since launching an internal investigation into inappropriate social media activity a year ago, Customs and Border Protection Alsop suspended 38 employees and disciplined another 27, The Los Angeles Times reports.

An additional six cases are still being investigated.

The investigation was launched after ProPublica exposed a secret Facebook group called “I’m 10-15,” which included offensive content and demeaning posts that targeted undocumented immigrants and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

One of the posts was an illustration of President Trump pushing the congresswoman’s head toward his crotch. In another post, a member encouraged agents to toss a “burrito at these bitches,” referring to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who were visiting detention centers.

In one post, commenters questioned the authenticity of a now-viral photo of a drowned man and his younger daughter.

Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-Texas, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, called the terminations “a step in the right direction to demonstrate that federal law enforcement agents cannot act with impunity.” But Castro said he still wants to know “why so few individuals were terminated and held fully accountable.”

Ex-FBI Attorney James Baker Joins Twitter As New Deputy General Counsel

Former top FBI attorney James Baker

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

James Baker, the former top attorney for the FBI, has joined Twitter as the social media company’s new deputy general counsel.

Twitter’s general counsel, Sean Edgett, tweeted the announcement Monday.

“Thrilled to welcome @thejimbaker to @Twitter as Deputy General Counsel,” Edgett said. Jim is committed to our core principles of an open internet and freedom of expression, and brings experience navigating complex, global issues with a principled approach.”

The move is certain to infuriate Trump. As general counsel for the FBI during the bureau’s investigation of Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Baker played an integral role in the probe, which the president has called a “witch hunt.”

Baker, whom The Washington Post described as “one of the most trusted, longest-serving national security officials in the government,” was reassigned in December 2017. Baker resigned from the FBI in May 2018 and joined the Brookings Institute.

Trump has clashed with Twitter when the social media company began fact-checking some of his tweets.

Lifelong Republican Comey Endorses Biden, Then Mocked by Campaign

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Trump, said he voted in his first Democratic primary election on Tuesday and endorsed Joe Biden.

“Voted in first Dem primary to support party dedicated to restoring values in WH,” the lifelong Republican tweeted. “I agree with @amyklobuchar: We need candidate who cares about all Americans and will restore decency, dignity to the office. There is a reason Trump fears @joebiden and roots for Bernie. #Biden2020.”

Biden’s campaign had an odd response to the endorsement. Andrew Bates, the rapid response director for Biden’s presidential campaign, appeared to mock Comey’s support on Twitter.

“Yes, customer service? I just received a package that I very much did not order. How can I return it, free of charge?” Bates tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Two hours later, Bates insisted he was joking.

“I forgot the #1 rule of politics, which is that if you talk about anyone or anything related to 2016, common sense goes out the window. It was meant to be a lighthearted joke – not a rejection,” Bates tweeted. “We appreciate the vote of anyone repelled by Donald Trump.”

Trump Defies AG Barr, Continues Tweeting about Justice Department

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

In brazen defiance of Attorney General William Barr, President Trump continued to tweet about the Justice Department.

On Wednesday, Trump retweeted allegations that he is “the victim” of a DOJ conspiracy theory, just hours after reports suggested Barr told his staff that he’s considering resigning over the president’s comments about Justice Department criminal cases.

Trump fired off more than a dozen tweets and retweets that seemed to make a case that Barr should “clean house” at the Justice Department.

“There must be JUSTICE. This can never happen to a President, or our Country, again!,” Trump wrote, retweeting a post from Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, who insisted there are “high expectations that the Justice Dept will very soon deliver transparency & ACCOUNTABILITY regarding DOJ/FBI officials who weaponized the awesome powers at their disposal in order to target the Trump campaign.”

Last week, Barr told ABC News that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said.

Trump continued tweeting anyway.

According to The Washington Post, Barr’s motive for threatening to quit may have been to send a message to Trump to stop tweeting.

“He has his limits,” a source said.

House Committee Accuses CBP of ‘Stonewalling’ Investigation into Offensive Facebook Post

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

U.S. House members investigating a secret and offensive Facebook group used by former and current Border Patrol members are accusing U.S. Customs and Border Protection of “stonewalling” an investigation into the social media page.

In a letter to CBP administrators, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., says the agency continues to hold up documents needed to investigate the group.

“To date, CBP has not produced any information regarding a single employee who was involved in the secret Facebook groups and has not made a single witness available for a transcribed interview. This stonewalling is unacceptable,” Maloney wrote in the letter, according to The Hill.

She added, “The Committee now insists on full compliance with all of its previous requests, or we will be forced to consider compulsory process.”

In July, CBP says it was investigating the Facebook group.

ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news outlet, revealed the group, which included offensive content and demeaning posts that targeted undocumented immigrants and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

One of the posts included an illustration of President Trump pushing the congresswoman’s head toward his crotch. In another post, a member encouraged agents to toss a “burrito at these bitches,” referring to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Then-Border Patrol chief Carla Provost said in a statement last year that the “posts are are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out.”

Last summer, the House Oversight Committed began investigating the group, but now officials say they have hit a wall because CBP is not cooperating.

“CBP has been obstructing the committee’s investigation by making baseless and shifting legal claims in order to avoid producing critical documents and witnesses,” the letter reads.

“As a result, the Committee has been unable to determine whether CBP employees who made inappropriate and threatening comments are still on the job, potentially putting children, immigrants and fellow CBP employees at risk,” Maloney added.

DOJ Denies AG Barr Is Considering Resigning Over Trump’s Tweets

Attorney General William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is denying reports that Attorney General William Barr is considering resigning over President Trump’s refusal to stop tweeting about DOJ cases.

“The Attorney General has no plans to resign,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Tuesday night on Twitter.

News that Barr was considering leaving his post began with reports by the Associated Press  and The Washington Post, both of which cited a source close to Barr who said the attorney general had told people he might quit over Trump’s tweets.

Last week, Barr told ABC News that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said.

Trump continued tweeting anyway.

According to The Washington Post, Barr’s motive for threatening to quit may have been to send a message to Trump to stop tweeting.

“He has his limits,” a source said.

Secret Service Arrests Man Who Threatened to Kill Trump on a Live Facebook Video

Chauncy Lump

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service says a South Florida security guard was arrested for threatening to kill President Trump on Facebook live.

Chauncy Lump, 26, is accused of making the threat on Friday while wearing a towel “wrapped like a turban” over his head, wearing white cream on his face, and holding what appeared to be a “loaded AK-47,” according to a federal criminal complaint obtained by The Miami Herald.

In the live video, Lump allegedly made several “explicit threats to kill and/or inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States,” for killing his “leader,” wrote Special Agent Lucas White in the complaint.

If he couldn’t find Trump, Lump allegedly said he would “blow up” Broward County.

Deputies identified Lump, who went by the name “BlackMan Vs America on Facebook,” using public databases. Secret Service agents and deputies showed up to Lump’s apartment and arrested him.

While in custody, Lump said the threat was in response to the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike, according to the complaint.

Read the federal complaint here.

Secret Service Not Laughing at Comedian George Lopez’s Comment about Trump

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service isn’t laughing at comedian George Lopez’s joke about assassinating President Trump.

Lopez commented on a media account that indicated there was an $80 million bounty on Trump’s head after the assassination of Iranian Maj. Qasem Soleimani.

“We’ll do it for half,” Lopez wrote on the Chicago Worldstar post.

“The Secret Service is aware of the tweet made by Mr. Lopez,” agency said in a statement Tuesday. “The Secret Service takes all threats against the president and or any of our protectees seriously, and as a matter of practice, we do not comment on matters involving protective intelligence.”

It’s unclear whether the Secret Service plans to interview Lopez.