U.S. Border Patrol chief Carla Provost told a congressional subcommittee on Wednesday that she joined a secret Facebook group filled with derogatory posts mocking dead migrants and targeting lawmakers so that she could read what her personnel thought about her.
“I joined Facebook in 2016 mainly to reach out to friends and colleagues,” she told the House Appropriations subcommittee.
“In 2017… a colleague invited me to some groups, they had mentioned to me that in my acting role as chief at that time that some of the agents were discussing how I was doing and it was something that I was certainly interested in,” she said.
“I am on Facebook very, very rarely,” she added. “July 1st was the first time I saw those highly offensive and absolutely unacceptable posts in the ProPublica report.”
ProPublica exposed the group earlier this month, reporting that it had upwards of 9,000 members. The investigation found that current and former employees joked about dead migrants and the group shared a doctored image of a smiling President Trump forcing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) head toward his crotch.
The Intercept reported earlier this month that Provost was a member of the group and had posted in it as recently as three months after her permanent appointment in August.
Provost told lawmakers that she self-reported her involvement in the group to Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Professional Responsibility, which is currently investigating 62 current Border Patrol employees for their involvement in three groups including “I’m 10-15.”
She also admitted Wednesday to commenting in the group on a post about a question from the TV show “Jeopardy” because her agents were talking about her in that post.
Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost: "Not only did I self report, I turned my entire Facebook account over to the Office of Professional Responsibility." https://t.co/MR58y7RWUc pic.twitter.com/DxIvQda8k1
— The Hill (@thehill) July 25, 2019