A political appointee at the Department of Interior resigned Wednesday after CNN's KFile flagged inflammatory comments she made on Facebook and Twitter.
Christine Bauserman, a former Republican activist in Arizona who also worked for President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, served as a special assistant to Secretary Ryan Zinke, providing him operational support that included coordinating policy briefings. Bauserman initially joined the administration as a member of the so-called "beachhead teams," which consisted of advisers tasked with shaping Trump's new administration.
A KFile review found that Bauserman repeatedly shared conspiracy theories, made anti-Muslim comments and shared anti-LGBT sentiments on social media.
"The positions expressed by Ms. Bauserman are inappropriate and unacceptable, and they are not consistent with those of the Secretary or the Trump Administration. The Department has accepted Ms. Bauserman's letter of resignation," Heather Swift, a spokeswoman for Department of the Interior, told CNN in a statement.
Bauserman did not return a request for comment. She has now restricted access to her Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Publicly available schedules list Bauserman attended more than 70 meetings or events with Zinke between March and September of 2017. An Interior Department official disputed that Bauserman ever attended a meeting with Zinke apart from all-staff meetings, explaining that she was CC'ed on calendar items for logistical awareness.
Emails that are publicly available show Bauserman coordinating policy briefings and schedules for Zinke, using the title "special assistant to Secretary." The same Interior Department official told CNN on background that her most recent title was special assistant in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management and that she assisted staff with research projects.
A review of her social media going back several years and until now reveals she repeatedly shared conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama's citizenship and in one comment called him a "black man from the black panther movement."
She also expressed her disdain for Islam and shared a story praising Russia for having a "pro-heterosexual flag."
Here are some examples of what Bauserman has shared and posted on Facebook and Twitter just this month:
- On Saturday, she retweeted an image from her Twitter account that featured a picture of former President Barack Obama with the text, "IN 8 YRS I IMPROVED LIFE FOR MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS, EVERY MUSLIM TERRORIST GROUP & BASICALLY EVERYONE I COULD EXCEPT THE ONE COUNTRY I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR"
- Earlier this month, Bauserman shared on her Facebook page a video that asked users to like or share if they supported Trump unsealing Obama's college and birth records. (Neither of those records are sealed) The video featured a picture of a college-aged Obama and another image of his birth certificate.
- Bauserman shared a story falsely claiming a doctor "who exposed Clinton Foundation corruption in Haiti" was found dead under mysterious circumstances.
- She shared a story falsely claiming California Rep. Adam Schiff's sister was married to George Soros' son.
- In mid-February, she shared an image of a shirtless black man wearing low pants juxtaposed with a photo of a Confederate statue. The caption read: "How does a statue being in the same place for 100 years suddenly become offensive and men walking around in public with there (sic) ass showing not offensive? Are people really this ignorant?"
Many of Bauserman's comments and shares on social media over the last several years have also been anti-Muslim in nature. In September of 2016, she shared an image of a women in a full neon, high-visibility burka, with the caption, "these Muslims are starting to get North Americanized very quickly!" In November 2016, she retweeted a user who posted the names of several terrorists who were Muslim. The user had written, "If you don't call this a pattern, you are out of your mind." In a Facebook post on the day of the Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016, Bauserman wrote that the events of week had shown evidence of the "reality of the Hate that is Islam."
In addition to sharing a post that praised Russia for having a heterosexual pride flag while the country was passing anti-gay laws, Bauserman also shared in 2013 an image in support of "straight pride." On Twitter in May 2016, she shared an image of a man in leotard with long hair with the caption: "Obama thinks this freak has a civil right to use the same bathroom as your young daughter."
- Political appointee at Interior resigns after KFile inquiry into birther, anti-Muslim comments
- Trump appointee Carl Higbie resigns as public face of agency that runs AmeriCorps after KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments on the radio
- Top Trump-appointee at Veterans Affairs spread conspiracy theories, made anti-Muslim comments
- HHS official who made anti-Muslim comments resigns
- Trump appointee at Defense Department resigns after CNN reveals birther postings
- HUD political appointee poised to lead Interior Dept. inspector general's office
- HHS official who made anti-Muslim comments and spread conspiracy theories resigns
- Former Trump appointee apologizes for racist and other inflammatory comments that led to his resignation
- Aetna inquiry widens over ex-medical director's comments
- Trump appointee guts UN document on racism