WASHINGTON — An intern accidentally sent an attention-grabbing tweet telling human rights organization Amnesty International to “suck it” from the account of a respected Washington think tank, a spokesman for the think tank said on Tuesday.
Andrew Schwartz, senior vice president for external relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said in an email to BuzzFeed that he was “embarrassed about this unfortunate situation and the tweet doesn’t reflect anyone’s views at CSIS or the institution as a whole. My colleagues are equally distressed about this.”
Schwartz said he has reached out on email to Amnesty and is following up with an phone call to apologize for the tweet, which came from CSIS’ main Twitter account early on Monday morning. Amnesty, which has sent observers to monitor the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, had tweeted: “US can’t tell other countries to improve their records on policing and peaceful assembly if it won’t clean up its own human rights record.” CSIS’ Twitter account responded: “Your work has saved far fewer lives than American interventions. So suck it.”
CSIS apologized for the tweet on Twitter shortly afterward, saying it was sent “in error.”
“Here’s what happened,” Schwartz said. “Early this morning, an unconscionable tweet was directed to Amnesty from CSIS’s Twitter account. The tweet in no way reflects CSIS’s views. It was sent by a CSIS intern who had access to our account for monitoring purposes. Apparently he meant to send something reflecting his personal views from his personal Twitter account. I find his views and the way he expressed them to be abhorrent and will take appropriate action at CSIS to address the matter internally.”
Asked whether the intern would be fired, Schwartz said that CSIS was handling the matter internally.
The tweet has been deleted, although multiple users took screenshots.