Report: Senior HHS Official On Leave Over Conspiratorial, Racist Social Media Posts

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Jon Cordova, the principal deputy assistant secretary for administration at the Department of Health and Human Services, has been placed on leave in the wake of revelations about conspiratorial and racist posts he shared on social media, CNN reported Tuesday.

“Mr. Cordova is currently on administrative leave while we look into this issue further,” an unnamed agency spokesperson told CNN.

Cordova was suspended after CNN’s KFile team asked HHS about the posts, the network reported.

Cordova’s bio on the HHS website notes that he joined the administration in February 2017, shortly after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and that his current duties include “providing direct support to the Assistant Secretary for Administration for HHS and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Office of Human Relations, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of Security and Strategic Information, Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance and Operations Office and the Program Support Center.” 

Among the posts flagged by CNN: a story Cordova shared on Facebook in July 2016 falsely alleging that Khizr Khan was a “Muslim Brotherhood agent” and “a Muslim plant working with the Hillary Clinton campaign.” In March of that year, he shared a false story alleging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), then competing with Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for President, “frequented prostitutes,” in CNN’s words, among other claims. 

In August 2015, Cordova shared a photograph of an African American man holding a photoshopped protest sign that read “No mother should have to fear for her son’s life every time he robs a store,” the report said. In a two-year-old tweet, according to a CNN screenshot, he shared a meme comparing MoveOn.org and Black Lives Matter protesters to Nazi Brown Shirts.

Read CNN’s full report here.

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