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Over the last five years, including as recently as last month, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has liked and posted several politically inflammatory messages on social media, HuffPost reports.
Andrew Wheeler, 53, is a former coal lobbyist and Republican aide who became the acting administrator after Scott Pruitt resigned in July amid multiple scandals. HuffPost reports that, among his more controversial social media moves, he liked a racist image of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama on Facebook, and also retweeted a conspiracy theorist peddling the "Pizzagate" conspiracy that claims Democrats are running a child sex ring out of the basement of a pizza place in Washington, D.C.
In a statement to HuffPost, Wheeler said that "over the years, I have been a prolific social media user and liked and inadvertently liked countless social media posts. Specifically, I do not remember the post depicting President Obama and the First Lady. As for some of the other posts, I agreed with the content and was unaware of the sources." Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, told HuffPost Wheeler's online activity "is despicable. The people he's interacting with and retweeting are just not folks a legitimate person should have anything to do."