Ex-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets

A controversial former political appointee at the U.S. Agency for International Development said on Wednesday she was not behind inflammatory tweets published to her account days earlier and that coincided with her abrupt exit from the agency. 

Merrit Corrigan, the former deputy White House liaison at USAID, said in a statement to Politico that she is sorry for the tweets and was not responsible for them. 

In a bizarre twist, Corrigan said two people she’d been working with had taken control of her electronic devices and sent the messages.

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“I would like to apologize. Especially to the people who have been affected or hurt by the messages sent from my Twitter account, and the claims made in my name on Monday. I did NOT send these messages, and while I vehemently protested about them being sent in my name, my devices were not in my control,” Corrigan said, according to the outlet. 

The statement continued, “I will be working hard to right the wrongs that were done in my name, and I pray that in time I can prove myself to be a reliable person despite the attempts to ruin me – the rationale for which I am still unclear.”

The Daily Beast reported that a statement sent to the outlet on behalf of Corrigan also said she would not participate in a press conference Thursday, announced in her tweets, that would allegedly “expose” a “corrupt campaign” by Democratic lawmakers to remove her from her position at USAID.

“I will not be participating in any press conferences as claimed in my name, and will have nothing to do with individuals who forced me to hand over my devices so they could control me and the output in my name. Due to naivete and inexperience, I became involved with people who abused my trust, conned me, and claimed they were working in my interest. I became powerless in a situation, and I deeply regret not reaching out to people who knew better, or could help me.”

The Daily Beast reported the individuals who had been planning the press conference were Jacob Wohl, a right-wing activist and conspiracy theorist who, in September, was charged with illegal security sales, and Jack Burkman, a lawyer and GOP political operative. 

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Wohl and Burkman responded in a press release on Wednesday refuting Corrigan’s statements and that she “expressed great pride at what she had done” in reference to the tweets.

On Monday, USAID announced that Corrigan was no longer working for the agency following a series of explosive tweets from her account that accused the agency of having an “anti-Christian bias.”

The tweets also railed against gay marriage and transgender individuals and U.S. support for countries that “celebrate sexual deviancy.” 

The tweets have since been deleted but they included attacks on senior Democratic lawmakers with oversight of USAID, including Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHouse panel halts contempt proceedings against Pompeo after documents turned over Engel subpoenas US global media chief Michael Pack The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Pence lauds Harris as 'experienced debater'; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senators Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Kasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report MORE (D-N.J.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTrump taps Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court, setting up confirmation sprint Supreme Court fight pushes Senate toward brink Trump plans to pick Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg on court MORE (D-Virginia) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election The movement to reform animal agriculture has reached a tipping point Watchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump MORE (D-N.J.).