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Tucsonan Bauserman ousted from Trump admin for 'birther,' anti-Muslim posts

A series of conspiracy posts, along with reported anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments, have cost a Tucson political activist her job in the Trump administration. Christine Bauserman resigned from the Interior Department on Wednesday, with officials saying her posts were "inappropriate and unacceptable."

Bauserman, who worked on Donald Trump's campaign in Arizona, went to Washington, D.C., as part of a "beachhead team" in the early days of the new administration.

She left her position as a special assistant to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke after CNN raised questions about some of her posts on Facebook and Twitter.

"The positions expressed by Ms. Bauserman are inappropriate and unacceptable, and they are not consistent with those of the Secretary or the Trump Administration. The Department has accepted Ms. Bauserman's letter of resignation," Heather Swift, a spokeswoman for Department of the Interior, told CNN in a statement.

Bauserman did not respond to a request for comment from TucsonSentinel.com, nor did she respond to CNN's queries, the network said.

Among the posts shared by Bauserman were "birther" conspiracies about former President Obama's birth certificate, allegations about the "reality of Hate that is Islam," and "straight pride" praise for a Russian "pro-heterosexual flag" while that country was passing laws repressing gays in 2015.

From CNN's Wednesday-night report:

A review of her social media going back several years and until now reveals she repeatedly shared conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama's citizenship and in one comment called him a "black man from the black panther movement."

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She also expressed her disdain for Islam and shared a story praising Russia for having a "pro-heterosexual flag."Here are some examples of what Bauserman has shared and posted on Facebook and Twitter just this month:

  • On Saturday, she retweeted an image from her Twitter account that featured a picture of former President Barack Obama with the text, "IN 8 YRS I IMPROVED LIFE FOR MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS, EVERY MUSLIM TERRORIST GROUP & BASICALLY EVERYONE I COULD EXCEPT THE ONE COUNTRY I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR"
  • Earlier this month, Bauserman shared on her Facebook page a video that asked users to like or share if they supported Trump unsealing Obama's college and birth records. (Neither of those records are sealed) The video featured a picture of a college-aged Obama and another image of his birth certificate.
  • Bauserman shared a story falsely claiming a doctor "who exposed Clinton Foundation corruption in Haiti" was found dead under mysterious circumstances.
  • She shared a story falsely claiming California Rep. Adam Schiff's sister was married to George Soros' son.
  • In mid-February, she shared an image of a shirtless black man wearing low pants juxtaposed with a photo of a Confederate statue. The caption read: "How does a statue being in the same place for 100 years suddenly become offensive and men walking around in public with there (sic) ass showing not offensive? Are people really this ignorant?"

Many of Bauserman's comments and shares on social media over the last several years have also been anti-Muslim in nature. In September of 2016, she shared an image of a women in a full neon, high-visibility burka, with the caption, "these Muslims are starting to get North Americanized very quickly!" In November 2016, she retweeted a user who posted the names of several terrorists who were Muslim. The user had written, "If you don't call this a pattern, you are out of your mind." In a Facebook post on the day of the Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016, Bauserman wrote that the events of week had shown evidence of the "reality of the Hate that is Islam."

In addition to sharing a post that praised Russia for having a heterosexual pride flag while the country was passing anti-gay laws, Bauserman also shared in 2013 an image in support of "straight pride." On Twitter in May 2016, she shared an image of a man in leotard with long hair with the caption: "Obama thinks this freak has a civil right to use the same bathroom as your young daughter."

The Washington Post also published a story about Bauserman's ouster.

Recents posts on her Twitter account Wednesday night were almost entirely retweets of President Trump's statements.

In July, Bauserman was listed as a GS-13-level employee — a grade on the pay scale that comes with an annual salary of $74,500-$96,900.

Bauserman's no stranger to political controversy. She and former state legislator Frank Antenori, as the "Alliance of Principled Conservatives," released a "blacklist" of Republicans they deemed weren't sufficiently conservative in 2014, targeting them for their support of an expansion of Medicaid the previous year.

Under the guise of the "Foundation for Responsible Accountable Government," Bauserman used money from anonymous donors to fund robocalls attacking City Councilman Paul Cunningham, and billboards attacking him and other Democrats, in 2015. Democratic attorney Vince Rabago called Bauserman's ploy — funding her "Revitalize Tucson" political group with "dark money" donations from the foundation also run by her — a "shell game."

In court, Bauserman said it was "none of your business" who provided the funds, which paid for a billboard calling Cunningham a "sexual predator" — a reference to a drunken public proposition in 2012. Cunningham was never alleged to have committed any crime in that incident.

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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Bauserman in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 19, 2017.