Something odd happened on the official, verified National Weather Service account for eastern North Dakota today. It posted a message, responding to Republican Mitt Romney, calling the one-time Presidential candidate a “fraud.”
I didn’t get a chance to capture which Romney tweet this was in response to before it was deleted, but I’m pretty sure it was this one:
The events of the last 24 hours confirm that conduct by highly-placed individuals was both dishonorable and illegal. Also confirmed is my faith in our justice system and my conviction that we are a nation committed to the rule of law.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) August 22, 2018
Responding on a tweeted inquiry, the NWS said it was an accident resulting from a non-official linked account:
Our apologies Rob. This was inadvertently sent from a non-Grand Forks NWS account mistakenly linked to the office account.
— NWS Grand Forks (@NWSGrandForks) August 22, 2018
The tweet has since been deleted.
UPDATE: From the Grand Forks Herald:
The Weather Service later clarified the tweet was a mistake, after deleting it and apologizing to Forum News Service blogger Rob Port, who tweeted a screenshot of the post.
“We realize it was political in nature and something atypical of the national weather service,” Science Operations Officer Tom Grafenauer said. Grafenauer explained all employees have access to the organization’s Twitter page to post weather updates for the community.
“An employee had thought that he had logged out and was using his own account,” Grafenauer said.
Going forward, the local NWS is considering an additional apology to the public and reviewing its social media policy with employees.
“Stick with the weather,” Grafenauer said. “Stick with the facts. We don’t put our opinions, especially our political opinions out there.”