With Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling on Congress to begin hearings on Joe Biden's Cabinet picks before the inauguration while the results of the 2020 election remain in dispute, one nominee has already stoked controversy for peddling conspiracy theories and partisan attacks on Twitter - and is now deleting the evidence.
Neera Tanden, Biden's pick for budget director, has deleted over 1,000 tweets in anticipation of a contentious confirmation vote. Many of the tweets were critical of GOP senators, whose votes she'll need (assuming Republicans hold the Senate after two January runoff elections in Georgia).
In addition to spreading disinformation claiming that Russian hackers flipped votes to President Trump in the 2016 election - something Democrats currently stand accused of in the 2020 race, Tanden - a veteran Hillary Clinton aide and current president of the John Podesta-founded Center for American Progress - attacked Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in a still active tweet - calling her "pathetic" for supporting Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination in the Senate (after Democrats accused him of operating a 'rape gang' in the 1980s).
Pathetic. https://t.co/uukVMyonIX— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) August 22, 2018
GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas called Tanden's selection "radioactive," according to Bloomberg, telling reporters "Most Republicans are open to any reasonable nominee by the incoming administration," adding "We’re prepared to try to work with the vice president once the vote’s certified, but she certainly strikes me as his worst nominee so far."
She also deleted tweets from Nov. 20 that expressed her opposition to coronavirus restrictions on schools and restaurants, citing France as an example of a country that was able to slow the spread of infection while keeping businesses open.
Tanden, who now refers to herself as a "liberal" instead of "progressive" on Twitter, has left up recent posts of hers that thanked Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee for encouraging Republicans to accept Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. -Washington Examiner
hard to think of a more obviously contemptible person in the democratic establishment for biden to hire this side of rahm— kathbarbadoro (@kathbarbadoro) November 30, 2020
Assuming Biden is the president on January 20, 2021, and assuming Tanden makes it through the confirmation process, she will oversee Biden's annual budget, and will become one of the administration's chief negotiators with Congress on spending legislation. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) also has 'extensive authority' over federal agencies' regulatory power, and reviews proposed rule changes for the White House (per Bloomberg).
Schumer, meanwhile, calls GOP concerns over Tanden's Twitter comments are "overblown complaints."
"Honestly, the hypocrisy is astounding," he said on the Senate floor. "If Republicans are concerned about criticism on Twitter, their complaints are better directed at President Trump."