CNN appeared to suggest on Friday that the eight Republican senators who voted to confirm former Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta are somehow responsible for not investigating her more closely, instead of blaming the White House that nominated her, the 54 Democrats who supported her or Archuleta herself.
"Republican lawmakers who voted for her confirmation now acknowledge they didn't pay enough attention to the importance of technology in the agency Archuleta was taking over," CNN's Evan Perez reported, citing anonymous GOP aides.
CNN's Twitter feed also posted a message that read, "Republicans acknowledge to [Evan Perez] they didn't properly vet Archuleta's qualifications."
This note from CNN's social media team set off a torrent of criticism aimed directly at Perez, who, prior to his current role with the cable news group, reported for the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press.
Archuleta resigned Friday just weeks after the agency announced that hackers had stolen the personal information of millions of Americans. On Thursday, OPM admitted that a total of 22.1 million people had their information stolen. The OPM hack is so extensive, in fact, that federal officials believe it involves the families of government employees.
Federal officials are not certain, but they are fairly confident that the hack came from China. They suspect also that the Chinese government may now be in possession of the sensitive information.
News of the breach comes years after Republican senators had warned that Archuleta was not qualified for the role.
Members of Congress who voiced opposition to her nomination in 2013 were leaned on by an influential Hispanic coalition, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, which warned of repercussions against anyone who opposed efforts to confirm a Latino to the role.
"We endorsed Katherine Archuleta a long time ago in the coalition. It's very critical for us and it's important that Congress understand an attack on Archuleta is going to be very serious," the group's chair, Hector Sanchez, said that year.
Despite concerns over her qualifications, Obama's nominee was eventually confirmed in the United States Senate 62-35, with eight Republicans breaking rank and voting "yeah" with their Democratic counterparts. Despite that lopsided vote, CNN's Perez argued that both parties should be blamed equally for the disaster that unfolded under Archuleta's watch.
"Critics now call her a political hack who shouldn't have the job, even though she got the job with bipartisan support and her political past played little role in her Senate confirmation," Perez said.
Archuleta's own background shows her close ties to Democrats. Prior to her tenure at OPM, Archuleta served as the national political director for President Obama's 2012 campaign.
During the time, she oversaw a large part of Obama's re-election efforts, and she once dinged then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for warning that the Chinese would at some point hack into sensitive government information.
"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have less foreign policy experience than any Republican ticket in a generation. #DetailsMatter," she said in a tweet in 2012.