Incoming White House comms director deleted dozens of tweets days before new role was publicized

Incoming White House communications director Ben LaBolt deleted dozens of tweets in the days immediately preceding and following his new job being announced.

Incoming White House communications director Ben LaBolt deleted dozens of tweets a couple days before his new role was publicized.

The White House announced on Friday, Feb. 10 that President Biden’s communications director, Kate Bedingfield, who has been with the president since his 2021 inauguration, will step down at the end of this month and be succeeded by LaBolt.

Two days before the announcement, LaBolt deleted 85 tweets, according to Social Blade, a website that tracks user statistics on social media platforms. He then deleted 10 more tweets on Feb. 13, three days after his new gig was announced.

Social Blade doesn’t show which specific tweets were deleted.


LaBolt, a former adviser to President Barack Obama and current strategist for the communications agency Bully Pulpit Interactive, isn’t the only Biden administration official to seemingly cleanse their Twitter account upon assuming a new role.

Last year, Vice President Kamala Harris’ new press secretary, Kirsten Allen, scrubbed over 10,000 of her tweets during the hiring process for her White House gig.

Outdoing Allen was Susan Hennessey, who joined Biden’s Justice Department as part of the National Security Division in 2021. She deleted over 39,000 tweets between November 2020 and her hiring, including many that pushed Russia collusion accusations against former President Trump.

Deleting tweets is sometimes a normal part of political job transitions in Washington, and people in administrations from both parties have scrubbed their social media accounts. However, the scale and timing of some of these deletions raises questions about the content of what was scrubbed.

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The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

Beyond deleting tweets, tweets that were left up have also been a source of controversy for Biden officials.

Neera Tanden, for example, was Biden’s first nominee for director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Minutes into her confirmation hearing, she had to address concerns over hostile tweets she has posted against various Republican lawmakers. Tanden later withdrew her nomination, but would join the White House as a senior adviser a couple months later.

Current White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also came under fire when she was hired last year for a series of tweets promoting conspiracy theories about elections, pushing to overturn Trump’s victory in 2016, and labeling political opponents — and the United States itself — as racist.

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