Parts of Trump NASA pick's online presence scrubbed

Story highlights

  • Social media accounts and postings belonging to President Donald Trump's nominee to be NASA administrator were deleted this year, a CNN KFile review has found.
  • The removal of accounts and posts comes at a time when Congress will examine Bridenstine's record in the lead-up to his confirmation hearing.

(CNN)Social media accounts and postings belonging to President Donald Trump's nominee to be NASA administrator were deleted this year, a CNN KFile review has found.

Radio interviews and videos featuring Trump's nominee, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, were also removed from public view.
Trump on Friday nominated Bridenstine, a Republican from Oklahoma, to lead the nation's space agency after months of rumors he was the favorite for the position.
    His nomination, which requires Senate confirmation, has already received bipartisan pushback from Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, both of Florida, the home of the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, with Nelson telling Politico in a statement that the head of NASA "ought to be a space professional, not a politician."
    The removal of accounts and posts comes at a time when Congress will examine Bridenstine's record in the lead-up to his confirmation hearing.
    Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts belonging to Bridenstine's campaign have been deleted entirely. Several posts on the Facebook page of Bridenstine's congressional office have also been deleted.
    The congressman's Soundcloud account now only hosts two radio interviews with the congressman, but a search of the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine and the Google Cache show there used to be several radio interviews available on the account. Some of the missing interviews appear to be with conservative talk radio hosts like Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham.
    Matthew Rydin, a spokesperson for Bridenstine, said the campaign Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were deleted because his office was getting questions about whether Bridenstine was standing by his pledge to only serve three terms, which he is.
    "He is not campaigning for any office, so no reason to maintain the campaign accounts," Rydin said.
    Bridenstine's spokesperson also said that some of the congressman's radio interviews on Soundcloud might have been dropped as a result of a downgrade in the amount of storage space available on the account. However, according to a Soundcloud FAQ, Soundcloud says it does not delete files if you downgrade to a free account but hides the oldest uploads that exceed the upload limit of three hours. The two tracks currently on Bridenstine's account total 38 minutes.
    Bridenstine's office did not respond to follow up questions about the Soundcloud account.
    The spokesperson did not address the deleted posts on Bridenstine's congressional Facebook page.
    Several videos on the congressman's congressional YouTube account were also set to private at some point. When CNN's KFile inquired about the videos, a spokesperson for Bridenstine's office made them public.
    "A lot of the videos referenced are publicly available in many places including the committees Jim sits on," Rydin said about YouTube videos. "It would be impossible to hide Jim's public record as evidenced by the links sent in the reporter's email. I have always managed some videos as private and some as public. At your request, I will make all videos public."
    Among the videos now made public on the account were Bridenstine's floor speeches and appearances at hearings, where he often criticized what he saw as the Obama administration's overreaching environmental regulations and expressed skepticism about climate change.