A cry for his removal from office isn’t the kind of thing you’d expect a member of Donald Trump’s cabinet to tweet about their boss. But it happened this afternoon, sort of, after the official Twitter account of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was hijacked by an unidentified Department of Transportation employee.
The offending tweet came after California Democratic Representative Maxine Waters urged followers on Twitter to “Get ready for impeachment.” “SUE HIS VERY SOUL MAXINE,” Chao’s account replied soon after.
Unsurprisingly, the tweet was very quickly deleted, and the DOT issued a statement soon after blaming “an employee with access to the account” who “took action outside of his scope of work and duties without any approvals.”
“We are taking appropriate action,” the DOT said, adding that is has “taken action to prevent any future occurrence.”
Not that this explanation convinced many on Twitter, who assumed the tweet was either deliberate, or a bungled attempted at a direct message.
Chao claims this was done by "an employee" and they're "taking appropriate action." Please. Chao clearly thought she was DM'ing Waters. https://t.co/JdYWozIDq4
— Craig Mazin (@clmazin) March 23, 2017
@DavidWright_CNN Elaine Chao is woke
— Elusive Chanteuse (@trashcantropic) March 22, 2017
Even Trump supporters thought it was deliberate:
— Laney ❤️???????? (@Babbsgirl2) March 23, 2017
— P.A. Wallace (@wallacep06155) March 23, 2017
Others noted the awkwardness of the situation, since Chao, who previously served as Labor Secretary under George W. Bush, is married to Senate Majority Leader and Trump ally Mitch McConnell.
Going to be an awkward conversation tonight at the McConnell household. pic.twitter.com/A0cwG4DSHB
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) March 22, 2017
Of course, this isn’t the first time a Twitter account associated with the Trump administration has gone rogue. The weekend of Trump’s inauguration, all accounts associated with the National Park Service were ordered to cease activity after the official NPS account retweeted a comparison between the enormous crowds that attended Obama’s inauguration, and the far smaller gathering that turned out for Trump.
Hilariously, when the National Park Service was allowed to resume activity on Twitter days later, Department-affiliated accounts briefly resumed trolling the 45th President. First, Badlands National Park tweeted a flurry of climate science data in direct defiance of Trump administration directives. And the next day, Death Valley National Park tweeted facts about Japanese Internment during World War II very soon after Trump signed an executive order authorizing construction of a wall along the Mexican Border (though in fairness, it denied any intent to troll the President).
Trump, for his part, has not tweeted on the matter.