Vice President Kamala Harris’ new communications director launched into damage control, apologizing over old tweets about illegal immigration that resurfaced this week.
Jamal Simmons, who joined the vice president’s staff this week following the exit of a few members of the Harris team, issued a statement and took to social media to put out fires ignited when some of his past controversial tweets resurfaced.
In a tweet from November 2010, Simmons had written: “Just saw 2 undocumented folks talking on MSNBC. One Law student the other a protester. Can someone explain why ICE is not picking them up?”
The veteran Democratic aide felt the heat once the tweet and others surfaced and quickly went into damage control on Friday, though many on the left were not buying it.
I don’t accept your apology. Latin Americans are abused/mistreated at detention facilities to this day under THIS admin and hiring you after these comments highlights how little they want to resolve that. We see that. We won’t forget. pic.twitter.com/Uj9rpW64Ve
— Olivia Julianna (@0liviajulianna) January 7, 2022
“As a pundit for much of my career I have tweeted a lot and spoken out on public issues. Sometimes I have been sarcastic, unclear, or just plainly missed the mark,” Simmons said in a statement.
“I sincerely apologize for offending those who care as much as I do about making America the best, multi-ethnic, diverse democracy it can be. I know the role I am taking on is to represent the Biden-Harris administration, and I will do so with humility, sincerity and respect,” he added.
In response to these old tweets, Simmons says in a statement:
“Sometimes I have been sarcastic, unclear, or just plainly missed the mark. I sincerely apologize for offending those who care as much as I do about making America the best, multi-ethnic, diverse democracy it can be” pic.twitter.com/ndpPpAy1xS
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) January 7, 2022
He reiterated his apology on his own Twitter account.
As a pundit I tweeted+spoke A LOT. At times I’ve been sarcastic, unclear or plainly missed the mark. I apologize for offending ppl who care as much as I do about making America the best, multiethnic, diverse democracy+I’ll rep the Biden-Harris admin w/humility, sincerity+respect.
— Jamal Simmons (@JamalSimmons) January 7, 2022
At the time, Simmons had held his ground and tweeted on the issue again.
“I’ll try this again,” read another tweet posted after the 2010 comment. “Just saw 2 undocumented folks talking on MSNBC and have a serious legal question. Why wouldn’t ICE pick them up?”
“We shld harden borders & ease visas/find ways to bring undocumented into legal status/punish employers. My was common sense one,” Simmons wrote.
As Simmons stepped into his new role with Harris, many on the left thought his old comments were enough to be “disqualifying” for the job, as noted by Washington State Democratic congressional candidate Stephanie Gallardo.
This is @KamalaHarris’s new Communications Director. I don’t care if it was 12 years ago. I don’t care if perhaps he holds different views now. I don’t care. This should be disqualifying. https://t.co/O0VF5DzANG
— Stephanie Gallardo for Congress (@ElectGallardo) January 7, 2022
— Markos Moulitsas (@markos) January 7, 2022
Former Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller had a different take, tweeting: “I agree with @JamalSimmons. If you break into our nation there must be deportation.”
— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) January 7, 2022
Simmons, who once suggested President Biden was “dazed and confused” and had been critical of Harris in the past, continued his clean-up on social media.
For the record, I’ve never advocated for, nor believed that Dreamers should be targeted by ICE agents. I’ve been for DACA + comprehensive immigration reform for years. Frankly, it’s depressing ppl can forget about every other thing I’ve said in public on this bc of bad tweets.
— Jamal Simmons (@JamalSimmons) January 7, 2022
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