Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller called Hillary Clinton a c--t in a quickly deleted tweet on Tuesday afternoon.
Miller and his staffers have struggled with how to explain what happened. The story has changed a couple times since the tweet went out. The bottom line is the commissioner says someone on his campaign staff did it.
Miller says the offensive statement happened when a staffer retweeted a tweet that they were not aware contained a derogatory term.
“While I was working, I had some campaign staffers doing some retweets,” Miller explained. “Well, they retweeted one that had a derogatory term. They didn't screen it closely. It was a word that I would never use of condone, and immediately took it down."
But Miller's tweet came from his own account, not a retweet of another user. The tweet was the result of a poll that indicated Trump was pulling ahead in a state. He wrote: “TRUMP 44 C***t 43 Go Trump Go!”
The tweet was up for about ten minutes before being deleted.
Miller’s staff initially blamed the vulgar tweet on hackers.
“One of the staffers we contacted thought we’d been hacked, but we hadn’t been hacked,” Miller said.
That was followed by a tweet that claimed the offending tweet was a retweet from someone else. But, in fact, nothing on the vulgar tweet indicated it was a retweet.
"Definitely a retweet. May have been a screenshot,” Miller said. “I don't know what it was. I don't know why it didn't say that."
In a statement about Miller’s tweet, Governor Greg Abbott said, “the language is reprehensible and is an embarrassment. No true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way."
"What he has done has really finalized what we feared,” said Dallas County Democratic Chair Carol Donovan. “Donald Trump came out and said similar things, and that is that the Trump campaign, of which Mr. Miller is a spokesperson, has no respect for women."
But Miller said the vulgar term is not a word he would ever use.
“I am very passionate about this election. And I am a Donald Trump advisor and supporter,” he said. “It was a mistake, and we've dealt with the person. And we've taken precautions so that it won't happen again."
Miller said the person behind the tweet was “dealt with” but not fired.
In recent weeks, Miller has become a very visible spokesman for Donald Trump. At a recent rally in Las Vegas, Trump praised Miller by name after one of his appearances on Fox News Channel.
“His name is Sid Miller from Texas. We created yet another star,” Trump told the crowd.
It’s not the first time Miller has gotten into hot water with his social media posts.
An August 2015 Facebook post showed a mushroom cloud and appeared to suggest the United States use nuclear weapons on “the Muslim world.” He declined to apologize despite the uproar.
Miller also posted in Nov. 2015 side by side photos of rattlesnakes and Syrian refugees and asked, “Can you tell me which of these rattlers won’t bite you?”