An aide to Gov. Bruce Rauner was fired Monday over “unacceptable tweets” found on his Twitter page, the administration confirms.
Ben Tracy was chosen to fill the role as a close assistant to Rauner after Kyle Haevers, the previous “body man,” was reassigned Sunday. But Monday Tracy was sent packing after the tweets were discovered—including one widely circulated that makes light of physical violence toward reporters.
”Maybe body slamming reporters is the winning formula for republicans in IL?” Tracy purportedly tweeted.
Last May, then-congressional candidate Greg Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault for grabbing a reporter by the neck and “body-slamming” him to the ground.
"There is no excuse for this. Competent staff would thoroughly vet any new staff member, especially those who will serve in the most sensitive positions in the administration,” a former Rauner administration official tells NBC 5. “The governor would have personally interviewed and approved of this individual. He needs to explain why he and his new team allowed this to happen."
Other tweets on Tracy’s page included homophobic and racist language. Some of the tweets were captured by screenshots and shared on social media Monday.
“These tweets are unacceptable,” said Laurel Patrick, an administration spokeswoman. “The individual in question is no longer an employee of our Administration.”
Tracy's firing comes amid a storm of recent resignations, dismissals and reassignments in the administration--including Rauner's chief of staff.
Tracy's Twitter account has been deleted.