A Facebook post by the Bracken County Republican Party attacking the new director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as being part of the “Jewish junta” drew criticism Friday from Jewish leaders in Kentucky.
The post about new ATF director Steve Dettlebach went up early Friday morning was deleted shortly after a Courier Journal reporter contacted Bracken County GOP chair Karin Kirkindol about it.
“A Jewish anti-gun activist, Steve Dettelbach, has just been made director of the ATF,” read the Facebook post. “The Jewish junta is getting stronger and more aggressive.”
The post — linking to a tweet Tuesday from a gun reform organization celebrating Dettelbach’s Senate confirmation — went on to criticize two Republican senators who voted for his confirmation.
Asked in a voicemail and text who made the post, Kirkindol initially replied in a text that she hadn’t read it. The post was deleted shortly thereafter, and Kirkindol has not responded to follow-up questions about the author of the post.
Shortly before noon, the Bracken County GOP Facebook had a new post signed by Kirkindol about the now-deleted missive.
“Earlier today, I was made aware of an inappropriate post on the Bracken County GOP Facebook page,” Kirkindol wrote. “That post does not represent the values of the Bracken County Republican Party. It was incredibly insensitive. We will investigate how this occurred and we commit to tighter oversight of our social media going forward.”
By Friday evening, the post explaining why the original post was removed was also deleted without explanation.
Republican Party of Kentucky spokesman Sean Southard condemned the initial posting Friday afternoon.
“We condemn the language in the original post and want to make it clear: It does not represent the values or ideals of the Republican Party of Kentucky,” Southard said.