Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a Donald Trump supporter, used the c-word to describe Hillary Clinton on Tuesday afternoon.
Miller posted a tweet a 1:26pm on Tuesday referring to a Pennsylvania poll which showed Trump with a one percentage point lead over Clinton. In place of Clinton’s name within the tweet was the c-word, a derogatory term for female genitalia.
Miller’s campaign says his account was hacked and deleted the tweet. The derogatory tweet was also posted by an alt-right Twitter account this afternoon.
A few minutes later, Miller’s Twitter account deleted another tweet claiming his account was hacked and sent out a statement.
“The campaign was retweeting information on Twitter today and inadvertently retweeted a tweet they were not aware contained a derogatory term,” Miller’s campaign said. “The tweet was taken down as soon as possible. Commissioner Miller finds the term vulgar and offensive and apologies to anyone who may have seen it.”
Yet Miller’s tweet was not a simple retweet of an earlier image. Miller added “Go Trump Go!” to the original tweet before posting on his account.
Miller apologized for the tweet and said a campaign staffer didn’t see the derogatory term before copying and pasting the tweet.
The Texas Republican Party did not immediately return a call for comment.
“The language is reprehensible and is an embarrassment,” Texas governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. “No true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way.”
“This cannot be swept under the rug. Texas families deserve better than this kind of disgusting language from their elected officials,” Texas Democratic Party chair Crystal Perkins said in a statement. “While Sid Miller’s disgusting tweet is now deleted, the hate towards women and Texas’ diverse new majority in the Republican Party persists. Commissioner, you’re an embarrassment to Texas families and our great state. We wish you had a shred of dignity left. No apology is necessary, we all know it would not be sincere anyways. I’ll pray for you.”
Miller refers to himself as a “deplorable” on his Twitter account, signaling his support for Trump. Clinton referred to Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables” during a fundraiser in New York.
Miller’s campaign treasurer is rock artist and gun advocate Ted Nugent, who once called Barack Obama a “sub-human mongrel.”
UPDATE 6:39 pm: Miller called McClatchy to apologize for the tweet. He says he did not copy and paste the tweet himself.
“I’ve been working all day,” Miller said. “I’ve been pretty involved with the Trump campaign and told my staff, ‘Ya’ll go around and if you find something interesting you retweet it.’ They found some interesting polling numbers where Trump was ahead. They didn’t see it had a derogatory term in it. One of the staffers thought we had been hacked but that wasn’t true. That’s a derogatory term I would never use.”
Miller says a campaign staffer copy and pasted the tweet.
“I have dealt with the person that did it,” Miller said. “Obviously they didn’t see the term, they didn’t catch it, and it was an oversight on their part. They would never do something like that on purpose. We’re human, we make mistakes and I apologize for that. I’m sorry.”
He says his campaign office is “going to have two sets of eyes on everything” on social media from now on.