The Trump administration used the White House Twitter account to take aim at Democratic lawmakers who wish to tweak the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s mission or abolish the agency entirely.
A White House official wielded the account on Monday to pan Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren for taking critical stances against Trump’s immigration crackdown, which has led to thousands of children being separated from their families.
“Why are you supporting the animals of MS-13? You must not know what ICE really does,” the White House tweeted at Harris, suggesting that the senator from California is tolerant of the gang that started in Los Angeles.
The official used a similar attack on the Massachusetts lawmaker.
“Why are you supporting criminals moving weapons, drugs and victims across our borders? You must not know what ICE really does,” another tweet, directed at Warren, read.
Both swipes were shared by President Trump’s official account — not the volatile, typo-ridden @realDonaldTrump handle, which is often used to promote television appearances and GOP candidates.
The use of politically charged language on the White House account — which boasts 17.3 million followers — raised eyebrows among some Democrats for towing the line with the Hatch Act.
“Taxpayer resources are being used to completely and 100% lie about a sitting senator,” tweeted Lily Adams, Harris’ communications director.
Later on Monday, the President suggested voters would switch parties because of ICE backlash.
“Many Democrats are deeply concerned about the fact that their ‘leadership’ wants to denounce and abandon the great men and women of ICE, thereby declaring war on Law & Order,” Trump tweeted. “These people will be voting for Republicans in November and, in many cases, joining the Republican Party!”
Harris personally fired back and used her campaign account to broadcast the message.
“As a career prosecutor, I actually went after gangs and transnational criminal organizations. That’s being a leader on public safety. What is not, is ripping babies from their mothers,” Tweeted Harris, who previously served as California’s attorney general.
Harris said last week she wants to see a reorganization at the immigration agency.
“We need to probably be thinking about starting from scratch because there’s a lot that is wrong with the way that it is conducting itself,” she told MSNBC.