Official White House Twitter account blasts Dem senators critical of ICE

Official White House Twitter account blasts Dem senators critical of ICE
© Greg Nash

The official White House Twitter account targeted Democratic senators on Monday who have voiced support for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Over the course of Monday afternoon, the government account accused Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisParnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Environmental activists interrupt Buttigieg in New Hampshire Pence to visit Iowa days before caucuses MORE (D-Mass.) of supporting gang members and criminals because of their opposition to the immigration agency's methods.

"@SenKamalaHarris, why are you supporting the animals of MS-13? You must not know what ICE really does. Here is a link to help you out," the White House tweeted, along with a link to a government press release about two deportations earlier this month.

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In a tweet one hour earlier, the White House used a similar format to criticize Warren's opposition to ICE. The tweet came with a link to the ICE website with information on its border security task force.

"@SenWarren, why are you supporting criminals moving weapons, drugs, and victims across our nation’s borders? You must not know what ICE really does," the White House tweeted.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the use of an official government account to target lawmakers.

Both Warren and Harris are considered likely candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. 

Harris hit back at the tweet, touting her record as a prosecutor and ripping the Trump administration's practice of separating migrant families at the border.

"As a career prosecutor, I actually went after gangs and transnational criminal organizations," Harris tweeted. "That's being a leader on public safety. What is not, is ripping babies from their mothers."

Harris's spokesman, Tyrone Gayle, said the tweet caused him to do "a double take" and painted the comment as "misleading."

"Had to do a double take, one would this misleading attack from the RNC, not the WH. Kamala Harris took on transnational criminal organizations as AG. You must not know her record," Gayle said.

A growing number of Democratic lawmakers, including Warren, Harris and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), have in recent days come out in support of eliminating ICE and starting from scratch with a new agency to enforce immigration laws.

Other Democrats have been unwilling to go that far, saying they support examining the agency's behavior but believe President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE's policies are the root issue.

President Trump has fiercely defended ICE, and embraced Democratic opposition to the agency. He said in a Fox News interview Sunday that he believes the position would ultimately hurt Democrats in midterm elections.

ICE has played a central role in the Trump administration's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. It has faced growing backlash following the administration's "zero tolerance" policy, which led to the separation of migrant families at the border.