Senate Staffer Fired for Accidental Tweet

Collins office axes press assistant for misdirected missive belittling colleague Sanders.


Earlier today, I reported that a staffer for Maine Sen. Susan Collins had accidentally sent out a tweet from the senator's official account knocking Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The errant tweet read, in part: "Good ol' @SenSanders is always entertaining. Not a huge fan."

Just now, a spokesman for Senator Collins told me in an E-mail that her office has fired the staffer.

The staffer who sent the tweet, Luke Welch, a "New Media/Press Assistant," tried to contain the damage by tweeting at those who saw it—it was deleted in less than a minute—to say that it was his mistake.

While I haven't confirmed this, I'm guessing Welch meant to send the tweet from his personal account, but checked the wrong box on the Twitter application Tweetdeck. It's not very hard to make that error.

In an E-mailed statement, Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley wrote: "Unfortunately, today, a junior staff person with access to Senator Collins' official account accidentally tweeted something that the Senator would never say and which does not reflect her views. Senator Collins' office has a zero tolerance policy for this type of activity... He has been let go."

The spokesman also wrote: "We deeply regret this error."

Sanders's office had no comment on the incident and seemed to brush it off.

Do you think Welch should have been fired for the errant tweet?

  • Senator Collins' Not-So-Secret Phone Call
  • Bernie Sanders: Make The Rich Pay Off The Deficit
  • Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.
  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.