Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday that he has launched an “immediate investigation” into what he called “disturbing & inexcusable” social media posts from Border Patrol agents that purportedly included graphic and vulgar jokes about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
“Reporting this week highlighted disturbing & inexcusable social media activity that allegedly includes active Border Patrol personnel,” McAleenan said in a statement on Twitter. “These statements are completely unacceptable, especially if made by those sworn to uphold the @DHSgov mission, our values & standards of conduct.”
“I have directed an immediate investigation, and as the @USBPChief has made clear, any employee found to have compromised the public’s trust in our law enforcement mission will be held accountable. They do not represent the men and women of the Border Patrol or @DHSgov.”
The website ProPublica posted a story Monday headlined “Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths and Post Sexist Memes.” In addition to showing indifference toward the deaths of migrants, members made vulgar jokes about Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus ahead of their visit a Border Patrol facility in Texas on Monday, the story said.
In one post reported by ProPublica, a group member referenced the visits by Democrats and encouraged an officer to throw a “burrito at these b-----s.” Other posts included a vile, fake photo illustration of Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with President Trump.
Ocasio-Cortez blasted what she described as a “violent culture” within Border Patrol.
“They’re threatening violence on members of Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “How do you think they’re treating caged children+families?”
Matthew Klein, the assistant commissioner of the CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, said the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general opened its own investigation on Monday.
"Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection was made aware of disturbing social media activity hosted on a private Facebook group that may include a number of CBP employees," Klein said. "CBP immediately informed DHS Office of the Inspector General and initiated an investigation."
Fox News' Alex Pappas contributed to this report.