Hackers apparently took control of NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander’s Twitter account Sunday morning, posting Turkish propaganda as well as threats against President Trump.
The account’s handle briefly was changed to @PeterAlexanderv from @Peter Alexander and posted pro-Turkey tweets for at least 30 minutes Sunday morning. One such message read: “Mr. Trump, countries who try to threat[sic] our country will end up its artery get cut. Be aware of the Turks and study our history. You won’t defeat us ever.”
Another read: “Mr. Trump, we will tear down blood vessels of those who are hostiles to TURKIYE. Be wise and learn about Turkish people in history. No one can take down our country.”
At 9:01 a.m. ET, NBC News’ communication department tweeted that the Twitter accounts of Alexander and White House reporter Kristen Welker “have been compromised.
“Please do not click any links in DMs or tweets,” the PR department added. That tweet echoed a warning by Welker at 8:10 a.m. ET: “To all of my contacts .. my twitter feed has been apparently been spammed. Please DO not respond if you receive a direct message from me.”
Tensions are currently high between the U.S. and Turkey. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, accused Washington of leading an “economic war” against his country Saturday.
Among the issues, Turkey has arrested an American pastor and put him on trial for espionage and terror-related charges linked to a failed coup attempt in the country two years ago. The pastor has proclaimed his innocence.
The U.S. responded by slapping sanctions on Turkey and threatening more. The sides held talks in Washington this week but failed to resolve the spat.
President Trump on Friday tweeted that he had authorized the doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey. He said the tariffs on aluminum imports would be increased to 20 percent and those on steel to 50 percent as the Turkish lira “slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!”
“Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!” he wrote.
Alexander’s account eventually was restored. At 2:29 p.m. ET, he tweeted: “Thank you @NBCNews and @Twitter for quickly responding after my account was hacked this morning. It’s been resolved. Now, back to work.”