The Trump administration’s top border official, Mark Morgan, said Thursday that Twitter locked his account and removed a tweet regarding the effectiveness of the border wall.
“The tweet basically read that walls absolutely are an important part of a multi-layer strategy that assist the men and women of CBP to apprehend criminals. That’s what my tweet said. And Twitter took the tweet down,” said Morgan, the senior official performing the duties of the commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection.
Morgan was speaking Thursday morning alongside acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and other Department of Homeland Security officials near the US-Mexico border in Texas to promote nearly 400 miles of wall construction.
He said the tweet was “intended to emphasize that border security is national security” and was similar to hundreds of tweets he has posted in the past couple of years.
“With all due respect, Twitter, your locking my account doesn’t pass the BS test,” he added. “They may have locked my Twitter account, but they’re not going to lock my voice.”
Morgan was referring to his official government Twitter account, according to a CBP spokesperson. Morgan tweeted Thursday afternoon that access to his account has been restored, adding that “censorship should outrage every American.”
Asked by CNN about Morgan’s claim that his account was locked, a Twitter spokesperson said the company “took enforcement action on the Tweet you referenced, but the decision was reversed following an appeal by the account owner and further evaluation from our team.”
On Thursday afternoon, a message appeared on Morgan’s account that said, “This Tweet is no longer available.” When pressed on why the tweet was removed, the Twitter spokesperson told CNN, “Our teams review Tweets and accounts based on reports we receive from people on Twitter around the globe.”
Ken Cuccinelli, the senior official performing the duties of the Homeland Security deputy secretary, first raised the issue on Wednesday night in a series of tweets.
According to Cuccinelli, the tweet from Morgan’s account that was removed said that CBP and the US Army Corps of Engineers “continue to build new wall every day. Every mile helps us stop gang members, murders, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It’s a fact, walls work,” along with what appears to be a link to a video of wall construction.
The announcement came on the heels of a contentious hearing on Wednesday in which the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter were questioned by senators on the Commerce Committee over their content moderation policies. Some lawmakers demanded more transparency while others sought explanations on a few specific cases in which content had been removed or labeled by platforms.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who angrily went after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey at the hearing, tweeted about Morgan’s account Thursday.
“Twitter censorship continues,” he wrote.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct Ken Cuccinelli’s job title.