WASHINGTON — The Badlands National Park official account tweeted statistics about climate change on Tuesday that could contradict how President Donald Trump’s administration may want to present it.
The tweets were up for a few hours before they were deleted.
“Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. #climate,” one of the tweets read.
In a statement, the National Park Service blamed “a former employee who was not currently authorized to use the park’s account” for the tweets, which the NPS said they deleted of their own accord.
“The park was not told to remove the tweets but chose to do so when they realized that their account had been compromised. At this time, National Park Service social media managers are encouraged to continue the use of Twitter to post information relating to public safety and park information, with the exception of content related to national policy issues,” the National Park Service statement said.
Trump once called climate change a “hoax” invented by the Chinese and, during his campaign for president, repeatedly questioned scientific conclusions that human activity has caused global warming. More recently, he has acknowledged “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change.
Democrats were quick to criticize the move.
Adrienne Watson, the Democratic National Committee national press secretary, said in a statement: “Vladimir Putin would be proud.”
This isn’t the first time an account has gone rogue in response to Trump’s administration. On Friday, the National Park Service retweeted messages that compared the crowd sizes at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration to Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday.
Representatives from the new administration asked the Interior Department’s digital team to temporarily stop using Twitter as well — a decision the agency now claims was out of a concern the account was hacked.
Twitter told CNN that the @BadlandsNPS Twitter account had 7,000 Twitter followers on Monday. It now has 119,000 followers since publication, a number that continues to rise.