Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, tried to bash protesters in Portland, Oregon by posting a photo on Twitter of gas masks and a homemade “shield.”
It didn’t go over the way he probably thought it would.
Cuccinelli tried to describe the hand-made shield and gas masks as “preparations for violence,” but many people quickly pointed out that the gas masks were clearly in response to tear gas being used against them and that a “shield” is by definition defensive in nature.
“Here is a shield and a couple of gas masks from a rioter arrested in Portland. Not a sign with a slogan that someone expressing their first amendment rights might carry, but preparations for violence. Peaceful protester? I don’t think so,” Cuccinelli wrote on Twitter.
Cuccinelli’s tweet drew the attention of the Twitter account for the Homeland Security Committee Democrats in the House of Representatives, who told him he needed to resign.
“Maybe—just maybe—they were expecting their government to gas them. You should resign. You have no business serving in government in any capacity,” the account tweeted at Cuccinelli.
But the committee wasn’t the only one. Cuccinelli’s tweet was ratioed as of Thursday morning, with 24,000 comments compared to just 16,800 likes.
While Cuccinelli’s tweet is facing a torrent of mockery, he may be used to it—this isn’t the first time one of his tweets has been bashed by thousands of people.