AUSTIN, Texas — An assistant attorney general in Texas who ran for Congress this year has lost his job after reports surfaced showing social media posts he had made supporting conspiracy theories and touting bigoted views.
Nick Moutos regularly described Black Lives Matter protesters as "terrorists" and promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory on Twitter. He also called Islam a “virus” and transgender people an “abomination.”
Moutos, who finished third in a Republican primary election for a congressional seat in Austin, began working in the criminal prosecution division of the Texas attorney general’s office in 2017.
This past week, the watchdog group Media Matters highlighted social media posts that included Moutos using the hashtags #PlentyofAmmo and #OpenSeasonOnTerrorists while expressing support for a white St. Louis couple charged for waving guns during a racial injustice protest outside their home.
Kayleigh Date, an agency spokeswoman, confirmed that Moutos no longer worked for the Texas AG's office. She did not comment further. Moutos was earning an annual salary of $100,652.
Moutos tweeted that “stories slamming me & others” were “enough to cost me my job.” He also defended the QAnon conspiracy theory, which centers on the baseless belief that President Donald Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.
He did not return an email message from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Media Matters has previously identified dozens of congressional candidates running in the 2020 election cycle who have endorsed or promoted QAnon.
In the year he’s been on Twitter, Moutos has amassed over 20,000 tweets on his account, many of which are attacks — including threats of violence — against prominent Democrats.
“@BarackObama I pray to meet you on the #CivilWar2 #Battlefield. #Jesus #2A #MolonLabe,” he tweeted in June. “Molon Labe” is a Greek phrase that can be translated as “come and take them” and is popularly used by gun-rights advocates.
Moutos’ tweets often tout the Second Amendment and gun ownership while expressing his anger toward elected officials.
He has frequently referred to female members of Congress as“Whores of Babylon,” an apparent reference to a chapter in the Bible titled “The Great Whore and the Beast.”
“Hey there #WhoreOfBabylon, you wouldn’t even know what a Bible looks like! #Jesus #2A #MolonLabe #ArmedAndReadyVeteran #NoWarningShots #CenterMassUntilThreatDrops #Jesus,” he tweeted in response to a tweet from U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., in early June. “Center Mass Until Threat Drops” appears to refer to police training wherein officers are trained to aim at the “center mass” of a person while firing a weapon.
Moutos also used the phrase multiple times to reference U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
This isn’t the first time a staffer in the attorney general’s office has been in hot water over their social media presence. In 2018, the communications director for the office deleted his Twitter account after sharing tweets mocking sexual misconduct allegations brought against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In 2017, an associate deputy attorney general resigned after a Dallas Morning News story drew attention to comments he made about #MeToo survivors.