Author Jonathan Tasini, who is known for his progressive politics and support of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), is facing a wave of criticism for sending out a tasteless tweet after Republican lawmakers were involved in a train crash.
Tasini has since deleted the tweet, but screenshots of his comment are floating around Twitter. He wrote “train full of Goopers hitting truck and [Trey Gowdy retiring], God is working hard today to clean up the stink. Thank her.” At least one person died in the crash, though the victim was not one of the congressional members aboard the train.
— Benji Backer (@BenjiBacker) January 31, 2018
Soon after, Tasini deleted the tweet and offered a half-hearted apology, writing “it was poked out in midst of conversation with two colleagues on the deep racism/hypocrisy/criminality promoted by GOP or as GOPer Amanda Carpenter says, gaslighting of America.” Moments later, he added “let me save you time. I don’t work for CNN. They don’t pay me. They can’t fire me. I apologized nonetheless.”
that's rally where this happened,1st pic ever grabbed w him cuz I stayed away fr pic scrum all year pic.twitter.com/dMNbAV4VD9
— Jonathan Tasini (Substack Working Life Newsletter) (@jonathantasini) June 15, 2016
In his Twitter bio, Tasini writes that he is a “CNN talking head” and a “Bernie Sanders surrogate.” His Twitter profile photo even shows hims arm-in-arm with a grinning Sanders. While a CNN representative told Fox that Tasini isn’t a CNN employee, he wrote a column for the network as recently as January 13. He has also appeared on the network several times as a Sanders surrogate. Tasini’s most recent book is entitled “The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America.” He also hosts a podcast entitled “The Working Life” and in the first episode of his podcast, Sanders was a guest.
My thoughts are with my colleagues and all those injured and killed in the train crash this morning.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 31, 2018
The Vermont senator has not commented on Tasini’s remarks but on Wednesday he wrote on Twitter that his “thoughts are with [his] colleagues.”