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There's one less anti-LGBTQ+ extremist in Donald Trump's administration today, but there are still plenty to go around.
Merritt Corrigan, deputy White House liaison at the U.S. Agency for International Development, was fired today after unlocking her private Twitter account, Politico reports.
When Corrigan was appointed a few months ago, it was reported that last year she had tweeted that the U.S. had become a "homo-empire" in thrall to a "tyrannical LGBT agenda," part of a history of anti-LGBTQ+ and antifeminist comments. She spewed more vitriol Monday after unlocking her account, including the following:
She also tweeted that Democrats in Congress were out to get her, especially Rep. Eliot Engel, chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Robert Menendez, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. They had "engaged in a corrupt campaign to remove me from USAID," she wrote. "I will expose it on Thursday."
That's when she intends to hold a press conference accompanied by Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, who are well-known conspiracy theorists. Last year they used a fake social media account to falsely accuse gay presidential aspirant Pete Buttigieg of sexually assaulting a young man. Wohl also appears to have faked death threats against himself and has been tied to false sexual assault allegations against Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
At the press conference, she will "discuss the rampant anti-Christian sentiment at USAID," she wrote, and "will have more to say" about Politico reporter Daniel Lippman, who she called a "stalker."
After Corrigan unleashed her homophobic and transphobic tweets today, the House Foreign Relations Committee pointed out that it had already called for her resignation.
\u201cThis isn\u2019t the first time Merritt Corrigan has belittled women, #LGBTQ+ and other minorities.\n\nWe\u2019ve called for her resignation already.\n\u2b07\ufe0f\u2b07\ufe0f\u2b07\ufe0f\nhttps://t.co/p7JUWKTyh9\u201d— House Foreign Affairs Committee Dems (@House Foreign Affairs Committee Dems) 1596485633
Corrigan tweeted that Sens. Tim Kaine and Cory Booker wanted her to resign as well, and she blasted Booker as "anti-Christian." Officials with USAID, which promotes democracy and economic development abroad, told Politico that Acting Administrator John Barsa fired Corrigan on Monday. Barsa had previously defended her.
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A Change.org petition had earlier called for the firing of Corrigan and two other USAID officials, anti-trans activist Bethany Kozma and Mark Kevin Lloyd, who has a history of anti-Muslim comments. Democratic U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro added his voice today.
\u201cOur government should not promote hate.\n\nGood news that Merritt Corrigan has left @USAID after her homophobic comments and pressure from @HouseForeign Democrats.\n\n@Ilhan and I have also called for Mark Kevin Lloyd, who has Islamophobic views, to resign. https://t.co/NWMJCOdRb5\u201d— Joaquin Castro (@Joaquin Castro) 1596487520
David Stacy, government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign, released a statement pointing out that Corrigan is no anomaly in the Trump administration. "Sadly, Merritt Corrigan is not unique in the Trump administration," he said. "She is the exact type of anti-LGBTQ zealot that Trump recruits and places in positions of power. Corrigan's biased and harmful beliefs are not shared by the vast majority of Americans. Corrigan is a symptom of a larger problem, it's time to hold the Trump-Pence administration accountable at the ballot box and elect a leader this November who supports the fundamental humanity of LGBTQ people and appoints people who share that basic decency."