Speed Reads

Mean Tweets

Top Texas official calls Hillary Clinton the c-word, blames hackers, then aide, apologizes

On Tuesday afternoon, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller tweeted out a poll showing Donald Trump up 1 point in Pennsylvania, except there was a problem with his tweet:

Within 15 minutes, Miller or someone on his staff deleted that tweet and posted this: "@MillerForTexas HAS BEEN HACKED. The disgusting re-tweet has been removed and we have changed all account passwords. Be advised." That tweet was also deleted and Miller's office said that the original "tweet was taken down as soon as possible" and "Commissioner Miller finds the term vulgar and offensive and apologizes to anyone who may have seen it" — not, it should be noted, to Hillary Clinton.

Later, Miller — one of Trump's most vocal proponents in Texas, with a history of very questionable tweets — said that he was in meetings all day and had asked his staff to tweet out stuff supportive of Trump. "I said, 'Why don't y'all just do some retweets?'" Miller told The Texas Tribune. "They didn't notice it had a derogatory term in it." That term is "a word I would never use," he told WFAA-TV. "It's deplorable. It's despicable." He did not name the staffer who allegedly posted the tweet.

"Before the offensive tweet surfaced Tuesday afternoon, Miller was enthusiastically tweeting about other polls and floating conspiracy theories about Clinton," The Dallas Morning News notes, and last Friday, he mocked Clinton for being a careful tweeter:

Miller's tweet earned a rebuke from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who called it "reprehensible" and "an embarrassment," adding, "No true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way." The Texas Democratic Party's Crystal Perkins said this is "not about one tweet, it's about a consistent pattern where the Republican Party fails to show even the most basic sense of human decency." But Bud Kennedy at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had the most cutting retort: "Miller, a Stephenville cowboy rancher who hands out Bibles and quotes scripture, said Tuesday he didn't know anything about the tweet, doesn't know the vulgar, anti-Semitic 'Ricky Vaughn' account it was copied from, and doesn't know anything about a white racist movement supporting Trump. When Sid Miller says he does not know anything, trust him."