New EPA chief liked racist Obama memes, retweeted conspiracy theorist

New EPA chief liked racist Obama memes, retweeted conspiracy theorist
© Anna Moneymaker

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a history of social media engagement that includes liking a racist meme of the Obamas and retweeting a renowned conspiracy theorist.

A look back at Andrew Wheeler’s social media use across various platforms shows that the former energy lobbyist turned EPA administrator has for years engaged with and endorsed conservative-leaning and occasionally offensive material, HuffPost first reported on Tuesday.

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Examples of his questionable social media use include a meme he liked from his personal Facebook account in 2013 that depicted then-President Obama and first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaContest offers 'Broadway play and chardonnay' with Clinton Michelle Obama greets students at Detroit Motown Museum during surprise visit Michelle Obama: People questioning whether I could be first lady 'doesn't go away' MORE sitting at a sports game looking on intently while a white person’s hand holds up a banana in the foreground.

“Over the years, I have been a prolific social media user and liked and inadvertently liked countless social media posts. Specifically, I do not remember the post depicting President Obama and the First Lady. As for some of the other posts, I agreed with the content and was unaware of the sources,” Wheeler said in a statement provided to The Hill.

More recently, Wheeler liked a tweet from right-wing documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza last month that cast doubt on Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault accusations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughPlanned Parenthood provides health care for millions of women in the US — we can't defund them Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic gets DC red carpet premiere Supreme Court not for life? Beware perils to its independence MORE.

The tweet read: “Even if she told her psychiatrist the same thing--which she did not--one cannot corroborate one’s own story. That requires independent evidence entirely missing in this case. #KavanaughConfirmation.”

The same month, Wheeler also liked a tweet from Paul Joseph Watson, an editor at the conspiracy site InfoWars. His tweet said the blocking of Hollywood actor James Woods from Twitter was a result of the platform's biased views against conservatives.

And in February, Wheeler retweeted Jack Posobiec, who helped spread the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory.

Democratic advocacy group American Bridge 21st Century was the first to find and share the social media posts with HuffPost.

Wheeler replaced former EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittTrump moves to relax Obama-era water protections Trump will seek to weaken Obama-era wetlands protections: report The Year Ahead: Dems under pressure to deliver on green agenda MORE in July. Pruitt resigned amidst a number of controversies including his exclusive use of first-class travel, 24-hour security detail and other ethical concerns.