Customs officials admit an officer harassed a BuzzFeed reporter trying to enter the US over the outlet's Trump coverage
On Sunday, BuzzFeed News' breaking news deputy director David Mack arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, after traveling to the United Kingdom to renew his U.S. work visa. As a customs officer was processing his passport, he noticed his employer — and began to question him about his paper's reporting on President Donald Trump.
Mack detailed the incident in a Twitter thread that night:
the immigration agent at JFK just saw that i work for buzzfeed and just grilled me for 10 minutes about the cohen s… https://t.co/78sPuIWpdt— David Mack (@David Mack) 1549245723
he was 100% convinced mueller had personally given a press conference calling us fake news and i had to politely as… https://t.co/dM6Ev5PXEM— David Mack (@David Mack) 1549245841
the funny part was he first said “oh BuzzFeed, you guys have had a rough time of late, huh” and at first i was like… https://t.co/4veB0nksOI— David Mack (@David Mack) 1549246012
anyway there were literally dozens of people waiting and i shit you not he was about to google the mueller response… https://t.co/2RDnNX7Deg— David Mack (@David Mack) 1549246194
he did ask me repeatedly what if anything the mueller inquiry has done and when i told him about the dozens of char… https://t.co/XfFoRfQrhM— David Mack (@David Mack) 1549246403
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed reported that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs Andrew Meehan personally called Mack to apologize and promise that they would launch a full investigation into the officer's conduct.
"On behalf of the agency, I would like to extend our apologies to Mr. David Mack for the inappropriate remarks made to him during his CBP processing upon his arrival to the United States," Meehan told BuzzFeed. "The officer's comments do not reflect CBP's commitment to integrity and professionalism of its workforce. In response to this incident, CBP immediately reviewed the event and has initiated the appropriate personnel inquiry and action."
BuzzFeed has attracted controversy following their report that special counsel Robert Mueller had evidence Trump directed his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow proposal. The special counsel's office took the rare step of publicly disputing the report.