Article by  Nikki Schwab July 18, 2019 | 4:43pm | 

​WASHINGTON – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked acting ​Homeland Security head Kevin McAleenan how so many Border Patrol agents ended up in a Facebook group where “rape memes” featuring the congresswoman were shared.

“I’m aware of the ProPublica article, yes,” McAleenan answered.

She then asked if he had seen any of the posts.

He had.

“Did you see the reports mocking migrant children’s deaths?” she asked.

He did.

“Did you see the post planning physical harm to myself and Congresswoman Escobar​?” she continued.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, a guest of the committee for the hearing, was seated at the rostrum beside her.

McAleenan said he had seen that as well – and had promptly asked that it be investigated.

“Did you see the images of officers circulating Photoshopped images of my violent rape?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.

McAleenan said yes.

“Are those officers on the job today and responsible for the safety of migrant women and children?” ​she pressed.

The acting DHS head wasn’t sure.

“We’ve already put individuals on administrative duties, I don’t know which ones corresponded to which post​,” he said.​

“Do you think that the policy of child separation could have contributed to a dehumanizing culture within CBP that contributes and kind of spills over to other areas of conduct?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.

McAleenan said that there was not a “dehumanizing culture” at ​the agency.

“So you don’t think having 10,000 officers in a violent, racist group sharing rape memes of members of Congress points to any concern of a dehumanized culture?” ​she said.

McAleenan called the posts “unacceptable.”

“They’re being investigated, but I don’t think it’s fair to apply them to the entire organization or that even members of that group believed or supported those posts,” he answered.

Earlier in the hearing​,​ he said Congress would see the fruits of that investigation by later this month or next.

“How did 10,000 members join this group?” the New York Democrat also asked. “How were they in this Facebook group without anybody knowing?

McAleenan answered, “Again this is the subject of an ongoing investigation.”

Ocasio-Cortez stayed away from other hot-button issues regarding DHS, as President Trump at a rally Wednesday night said she lied when she said migrants were drinking out of toilets.

But that didn’t mean they went unheard.

Even before it was AOC’s turn at bat, McAleenan tried pushing back on some of her claims.

The acting DHS head called it “a requirement by our policy” to provide migrants with water.

“Sometimes a faucet will break temporarily,” he offered, when Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) asked if he had heard about detainees having to drink from toilets.

That was the headline that came out of a ​trip to a ​Texas border facility taken by Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus earlier this month.

McAleenan testified that claim was “totally unsubstantiated.”

Hice also asked McAleenan’s take on ​Ocasio-Cortez’s labeling border facilities “concentration camps.”

McAleenan called it “unproductive and unprofessional” to be “demonizing” DHS officials.

But Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings had no problem tearing into McAleenan over the tracking of separated children and some of the squalid conditions that have been reported.

“You think you’re doing a great job, right?” Cummings asked.

McAleenan tried answering, “We’re doing our level best in a very challenging …” before he was cut off.

“What does that mean? What does that mean? When a child is sitting in their own feces?” Cummings shouted. “Can’t take a shower. Come on, man. What’s that about? None of us would have our children in that position. They are human beings.”..

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