Wednesday , March 14, 2018 - 11:15 AM
(c) 2018, The Washington Post.
A high-ranking New Zealand envoy has been censured for comments she posted to Twitter criticizing the U.S. Democratic Party.
Caroline Beresford, the deputy head of mission at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, later deleted the tweets in question, one of which urged Democrats to “please get your (expletive) together or we will all die.”
Her remarks had apparently been prompted by a Friday column in the Hill that suggested Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., run together in the next presidential race.
“This would be the progressive populist ticket offering the most bold and sweeping agenda,” former Democratic aide Brent Budowsky wrote in support of what was, in his opinion, a pairing most likely to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.
The Hill’s social media account tweeted Budowsky’s piece out on Saturday with the headline: “A Sanders-Warren ticket could win big in 2020.”
That night, Beresford replied to the Hill’s tweet more than once, according to images posted by the Newsroom, a New Zealand news site.
“They’ve learned nothing,” she tweeted first, referring to the Democrats. “If this is what they have against Trump we should be planning for the eight years.”
Minutes later, she replied again: “No it couldn’t. Please get your (expletive) together or we will all die.”
The tweets were later deleted, and, as of Wednesday morning, Beresford’s Twitter account had been switched to a private setting.
Beresford confirmed to the Newsroom that she had written the tweets and taken them down.
“Yes I did send those tweets and realized very quickly that they were inappropriate, which is why I deleted them,” she told the news site in an email.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement that it was taking appropriate action but did not elaborate.
Diplomatic staff are required to maintain political neutrality when expressing personal opinions, and Beresford’s tweets did not meet those standards, the ministry said, according to the Associated Press.
The ministry said in a statement that it “does not in any way endorse the content or tone of the tweets,” according to the AP.
New Zealand’s foreign minister, Winston Peters, told the Newsroom that he was satisfied with the ministry’s response.
A representative for the New Zealand Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Beresford has worked in international affairs for nearly two decades and has served in her role at the embassy in Washington since 2014. She previously was a private secretary to New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser and deputy head of mission at the New Zealand Embassy in Mexico City.
Beresford also serves as New Zealand’s ambassador to Haiti.
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