HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts: report

HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts: report
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Two Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials are departing the agency after being forced out following incendiary social media posts, Politico reported Friday.

The officials are Tim Clark, the HHS's White House liaison, and Gavin Smith, a policy adviser, according to the outlet.

Clark and Smith both resigned, according to HHS.

“Mr. Clark has long planned this position change and delayed that move for several months to assure a smooth transition for the new Secretary," Peter Urbanowicz, HHS chief of staff, said in a statement Friday. "He has been a huge help and strong partner in our success." 

 

Politico first reported on the social media postings of Smith, Clark and others "who tweet like [President] Trump" last month.

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Smith, in one post, called Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains GOP to White House: End summit mystery The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia MORE (R-Tenn.) “crazy” and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Questions linger over Trump-Putin summit Soccer ball Putin gifted to Trump gets routine security screening Graham: Biggest problem is Trump ‘believes meddling equals collusion’ MORE (R-S.C.) “clueless.”

"Getting your ass kicked once just wasn't enough for you, was it @JohnKasich?” Smith tweeted at the Ohio governor, in response to the possibility that Kasich could run for president again. “Lookin' forward to Round Two.”

Clark, meanwhile, sent tweets with the #SpiritCooking hashtag, a reference to the theory that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House protests extend into sixth day despite rain Clinton: US is 'losing friends and allies' under Trump Justice Dept releases surveillance applications for former Trump aide MORE campaign chairman John Podesta was engaging in Satanic practices, Politico reported.

This is not the first time HHS has faced questions over employees’ social media use.

In May, the agency reassigned Ximena Barreto, a deputy communications director who had worked on Trump's campaign, after it was found that she had helped promote the "PizzaGate" conspiracy theory that a pedophilia ring was being run out of a Washington, D.C., pizzeria.

-- Updated July 14