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White House-USAID liaison fired after series of anti-LGBTQ tweets

In a series of tweets, the political appointee said she had been attacked for her "Christian beliefs."
Image: Merritt Corrigan, Trump store at the CPAC conference at  National Harbor, Maryland
Merritt Corrigan tends the Official Trump Store at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, on Feb. 22, 2018.Kevin Lamarque / Reuters file

WASHINGTON — The deputy White House liaison to the U.S. Agency for International Development was fired Monday after making a series of comments critical of gay marriage and LGBTQ rights, two former Trump administration officials confirmed to NBC News.

In a series of tweets Monday, the liaison, Merritt Corrigan, wrote that for "too long, I’ve remained silent as the media has attacked me for my Christian beliefs, which are shared by the majority of Americans. Let me clear: Gay marriage isn’t marriage / Men aren’t women / US-funded Tunisian LGBT soap operas aren’t America First."

It was unclear whether Corrigan’s departure was prompted by the tweets, which described LGBT identity as “sexual deviancy,” or whether another situation may have led to her removal and her decision to issue to the tweets.

Corrigan, in the tweetstorm, also mentioned having “watched with horror this week as USAID distributed taxpayer funded documents claiming ‘we cannot tell someone’s sex or gender by looking at them’ and that not calling oneself ‘cis-gendered’ is a microagression.”

Corrigan did not elaborate. But in a bizarre twist, she announced on Twitter that she planned to hold a news conference on Thursday afternoon “to discuss the rampant anti-Christian sentiment at USAID” alongside Jacob Wohl and Jack Burman, a duo of conservative activists with a long history of fabricating conspiracy theories and false sexual assault allegations about President Trump’s perceived political opponents.

USAID confirmed that Corrigan no longer works at the agency as of Monday afternoon.

"USAID takes any claim of discrimination seriously, and we will investigate any complaints of anti-Christian bias Ms. Corrigan has raised during her tenure at the Agency," Pooja Jhunjhunwala, acting USAID spokesperson, said in a statement.

Asked if Corrigan had been fired, Jhunjhunwala said: “USAID does not comment on the specific basis on which employees leave the Agency. All political appointees serve at the pleasure of the Administrator.”

USAID's mission statement reads, "USAID’s vision is a world in which the human rights of LGBT persons are respected and able to live with dignity, free from discrimination, persecution, and violence."

House Democrats demanded Corrigan's resignation in June for "her record of public remarks, including disparaging LGBTQ people and those who express support for them, women in positions of leadership, and immigrants."

The Human Rights Campaign, a prominent LGBTQ rights group, responded to Corrigan’s departure by calling it emblematic of broader problems in the Trump administration, adding that her “biased and harmful beliefs are not shared by the vast majority of Americans.”