June 10, 2021

Toomey Demands Biden Nominees Turn Over Deleted Tweets

Incendiary Tweets Raise Serious Concerns Over Nominees’ Policy Views, Character, Temperament, and Fitness for Office

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is demanding two of President Biden’s nominees for senior positions at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) request their data from Twitter in an effort to obtain any previously deleted tweets.

“As you know, based on a review of your public Twitter account and the archived copy of your tweets that are publicly available on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, my Committee staff discovered that several of your public tweets had been deleted,” Toomey wrote. “Access to these deleted tweets will help the Committee evaluate your policy positions, character, temperament, and fitness to serve in the senior position at HUD for which you have been nominated.”

Last month, Ranking Member Toomey wrote a letter to Twitter’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey requesting the deleted tweets of Mark Colón, nominee for HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, and Solomon Greene, nominee for HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, after discovering the nominees had deleted numerous tweets. To date, Twitter has refused to turn over the nominees’ tweets, despite Committee staff’s repeated attempts to obtain the previously public information.

“As a result of my Committee staff’s ongoing discussions with Twitter, I understand that an individual may be able to recover deleted tweets by requesting his data from Twitter,” Toomey continued. “Accordingly, I ask that you promptly request all of your data from Twitter and provide to us all tweets obtained from this request so that members of the Committee—and the full Senate—may thoroughly review prior to your nomination hearing these previously public statements.”

Based on a review of Mr. Colón’s publicly available tweets, including archived, deleted tweets found on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the nominee routinely used his Twitter account to mock and attack public officials, propagate baseless conspiracy theories, and exhibit other divisive and unprofessional behavior. For example, Mr. Colón called Republican Senators “traitors,” “clowns,” and other disparaging names, such as “Senator Snagglepuss,” “Senator Jellyfish,” and “Senator Shameless.” He referred to then-President Trump as “the Devil, only stupider and in human form,” in addition to routinely using profanity to describe the former president, and captioned a photo of President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Bill Barr, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as “The Wu Tang (Ku Klux) Klan,” insinuating they are white supremacists.

Mr. Greene was also a prolific Twitter user, routinely using his account to advance radical views, such as defunding the police. In since deleted tweets, he advocated “No More Money for the Police” and retweeted posts raising serious questions about his views on violent demonstrations.

The HUD nominees are expected to appear before the Senate Banking Committee this month.

Click here and here to read the full letters.