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 ObamaSanders v. Warren is just for insiders Overnight Health Care: Trump reportedly lashed out at health chief over polling | Justices to hear ObamaCare birth control case | Trump rolls back Michelle Obama school lunch rules Trump to roll back Michelle Obama's school lunch rules on vegetables, fruits 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 KavanaughDemocratic group plans mobile billboard targeting Collins on impeachment January reminds us why courts matter — and the dangers of 'Trump judges' Planned Parenthood launches M campaign to back Democrats in 2020 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 PruittEPA employees push 'bill of rights' to protect scientific integrity EPA's independent science board questions underpinnings of numerous agency rollbacks Overnight Energy: Rate of new endangered species listings falls | EPA approves use of 'cyanide bombs' to protect livestock | Watchdog says EPA didn't conduct required analyses 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.