Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin appeared on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday to explain why the Senate has delayed a vote on the appointment of a new ICE director.
Interim ICE director Ronald Vitiello has been nominated to serve on a permanent basis, but is now in limbo as the Senate investigates accusations of bias.
“I think the day before our hearing, or maybe the morning of the hearing, we received a letter from a number of local union officials within the ICE Collective bargaining unit and so we responded to that,” Johnson said.
“There have been some other issues — some other charges that we just have to complete our due diligence in. So we’re just going through out due diligence here,” he said.
Co-host Alisyn Camerota asked what the nature of the complaint was and Johnson downplayed the issue. (RELATED: A Church Group Surrounded ICE After It Arrested An Illegal Alien. 27 Left In Cuffs)
“It’s charges of potential retaliation. It’s really more a problem before Mr. Vitiello took over as acting director,” he said. “It’s just problems between union and management within ICE. We need to track these down and there are tweets by Mr. Vitiello which he talked about in his hearing as well.”
Johnson also said Vitiello’s tweets were in bad taste and contained things that shouldn’t be spouted by government officials.
“They’re tweets government officials should not be doing even in their personal life,” he continued. “They’re all in the record. He was referring to Donald Trump. He was referring to the Democratic Party. But he was talked to by his supervisors and there was management action taken. He certainly apologized for them as well.”
“People are human beings. They’re not perfect,” Johnson added. “And in the end, we have to take a look at the length of service of Mr. Vitiello. It sounds like he’s had an exemplary life of service in the Customs and Border Protection.”
Camerota said Vitiello compared Trump to Dennis the Menace and asked if that would be a deal breaker for the Senate.
“Listen, when you’re working for one of these agencies, you have to apply a certain standard to those individuals. There could be disciplinary action taken against them. The question is, do you want somebody in charge of the organization that would be disciplined at an equivalent level with the agents involved as well? But again, this was handled while he was in Customs Border Protection,” Johnson replied.
“It’s a whole brave new world with social media. My advice, I don’t tweet myself. I actually have a filter and it’s a good thing,” he added.
“Because I have all kinds of crazy things go through my brain. So my suggestion to young people, be careful what you put on social media. My advice to government employees as well, be careful what you’re posting. Don’t ever tweet, don’t ever e-mail, don’t ever talk about things that you wouldn’t want on the front page of The New York Times or Washington Post.”
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