The senior senator charged with overseeing the U.S. Agency for International Development budget unleashed scathing criticism on the department’s leader Tuesday over a “Cuban Twitter” program.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., the longtime chairman of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, pressed USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah over the U.S-run social media platform in Cuba that was reported last week by The Associated Press . Leahy wanted to know who was behind creation of the program, but Shah did not have a specific answer, saying it came before he started running the agency at the end of 2009.
“Whose idea was it for this specific program? I’ve read the legislation. The legislation doesn’t say anything about setting up a cockamamie idea in Cuba with Twitter accounts and all on something that the Cubans would be so easy to discover,” Leahy said. “Whose idea was this specific program to go to Cuba, who? It’s a simple question.”