Many on social media were stunned Tuesday evening after reading a tweet from the verified account Department of the Interior's press secretary.
It started when Interior Secretary David Bernhardt posted a tweet promoting President Donald Trump, which some say called overly political and others suggested appeared to violate the Hatch Act.
The @realDonaldTrump Administration has accomplished historic feats for conservation, securing the largest investme… https://t.co/kr0nnvUC9K— Secretary David Bernhardt (@Secretary David Bernhardt)1603827610.0
Among those who complained was Tim Fullerton, who worked in the Interior Dept. during the Obama administration. Here's what he tweeted:
I ran the @interior digital team during President Obama’s re-election in 2012. I would have been fired for doing th… https://t.co/4gQ3VLDB1Z— Tim Fullerton (@Tim Fullerton)1603840137.0
Stunningly, Secretary Bernhardt's press secretary's Twitter account attacked Fullerton, saying, "Our tweets are approved by career ethics attorneys and thankfully no longer overseen by you."
He went on to attack what he says is the Obama administration's "rotten stench" and "blatant failure."
Our tweets are approved by career ethics attorneys and thankfully no longer overseen by you. @Interior increased t… https://t.co/jKJ4r8qk0D— Interior Press Secretary (@Interior Press Secretary)1603843242.0
According to his bio on Twitter Ben Goldey is Secretary Bernhardt's Press Secretary. Goldey did not respond to a request for comment.
The Trump administration has had more ethics scandals than any administration in modern U.S.history. A 2018 report determined it is the "most unethical in modern history."
Here's what some are saying:
Former Clinton White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart:
@DOIPressSec @Interior This clown forgets that they will be looking for a job in a few weeks and this sort of thing… https://t.co/GsBnDlqD7T— Joe Lockhart (@Joe Lockhart)1603844337.0
National security and government accountability attorney Mark Zaid:
@DOIPressSec @Interior You're part of public affairs. How about tweeting your names for all of us to know so I don't have to look it up.— Mark S. Zaid (@Mark S. Zaid)1603848833.0
Former Bush 43 speechwriter:
This is the government of the United States? The United States of America? That United States? https://t.co/ZzBHpf2irV— David Frum (@David Frum)1603844483.0
Former United States Ambassador to Israel:
Hey folks, who's OK seeing a government account used for this purpose? It's not acceptable. h/t @moira https://t.co/80K8ddqKYB— Dan Shapiro (@Dan Shapiro)1603850754.0
I'm sure the 2.5x increase in ethics staff was in response to the Obama-era social media account, and not about, sa… https://t.co/rnzITJDeNu— Jacob Rubashkin (@Jacob Rubashkin)1603848748.0
the actual person seems to be this guy @BenGoldey who possibly is shooting steroids in a symbolic bid to be closer to President Trump?— Josh Marshall (@Josh Marshall)1603843677.0
Oh cool, incels have been put in charge of the Interior Department's social media. https://t.co/V7nZnE9zGs— Gary Legum (@Gary Legum)1603845080.0
"We had to hire way more ethics officials under this administration" is not the flex this spox thinks it is. https://t.co/hkYx5Sppv8— Andrew Solender (@Andrew Solender)1603848556.0
@DOIPressSec @Interior Good luck ever getting a legitimate job again after you unqualified hacks are ousted!— Matt McDermott (@Matt McDermott)1603849742.0
@DOIPressSec @Interior Than why are you still publishing fucking trash, you sycophantic fucks.— The Hoarse Whisperer (@The Hoarse Whisperer)1603847558.0
@DOIPressSec @Interior It's pretty clear an adult didn't approve this tweet, much less an "ethics lawyer."— Melissa Ryan (@Melissa Ryan)1603846221.0
@DOIPressSec @Interior I can't believe my tax dollars are paying for this. You're an embarrassment.— Amy Gibson (@Amy Gibson)1603850462.0
@DOIPressSec @Interior You deserve to be unemployable. You’re already unlikable.— AlternativeGroupOfHats (@AlternativeGroupOfHats)1603849719.0
@DOIPressSec @Interior "to remove the rotten stench from the blatant failure of the prior administration" Yes, thi… https://t.co/WK4hY6xi9R— Jedi, Interrupted 🏳️🌈 (@Jedi, Interrupted 🏳️🌈)1603844233.0
@DOIPressSec @Interior Free advice: Don't destroy any documents.— Brian Beutler (@Brian Beutler)1603844535.0
@DOIPressSec @Interior Make sure you enjoy this job while it lasts because it'll forever be a stain on your resume— Thor Benson (@Thor Benson)1603848969.0
Screenshot of DOI tweet should it be deleted: