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Defiant Trump tweets came courtesy of old government passwords

Former National Park Service staffers were able to tweet from official accounts because the passwords were never changed.

The tweets apparently came from former workers with old passwords in hand.
Jason Cipriani/CNET

The rogue tweets from the National Park Service against Donald Trump were an inside job.

On Tuesday, the Badlands National Park's Twitter account tweeted up a storm about climate change, as the Trump administration wiped the White House website of mentions of global warming.

After Trump's inauguration, the National Park Service was also temporarily banned from tweeting after it retweeted a post showing Trump's crowd size compared with Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration and another about the disappearing White House pages.

According to the government, both sets of tweets have similar culprits: former Park Service employees who have a problem with President Trump's policies and still had access to the Twitter account passwords.

"An unauthorized user who had an old password in the San Francisco office went in and started retweeting inappropriate things that were in violation of their policy," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during Wednesday's daily briefing.

The tweets from Badlands National Park also came from a former staffer, officials said.

A Park Service representative said the tweets were "posted by a former employee who was not currently authorized to use the park's account." The tweets were deleted after the Park Service realized it hadn't changed the password.

The passwords have since been changed, with the Parks Services issuing an order across the board to change passwords on all its social media accounts.

Spicer said there are no direct orders from the White House demanding a social media gag for government agencies speaking out against Trump. The tweets were deleted because they violated the agency's own policies, he said.

While the tweets from the official government accounts have been deleted, the actions were the spark that spawned more than 20 "Resistance" accounts, with anonymous tweets claiming to come from rogue staffers at the National Park Service, NASA and the Department of Health.

A quick tip for any government agencies out there trying to avoid another rogue ex-staffer: Here's how to enable two-step verification on Twitter.