A CNN correspondent has apologised after coming under fire for historical homophobic tweets.
Kaitlan Collins, who previously worked for right-wing outlet The Daily Caller, has served as White House Correspondent for CNN since 2017.
The reporter, who has repeatedly clashed with the Trump administration in her current role, came in for criticism on Monday when a number of tweets from her past resurfaced, revealing she had used homophobic slurs as a teenager.
In one 2011 Twitter conversations, she wrote: “Prologue to Canterbury Tales, you fag.”
On another occasion she wrote: “Idk if I wanna room with a lesbian.”
Collins, who was 19 and a college student at the time of the posts, has apologised after the remarks surfaced.
She wrote on Twitter: “When I was in college, I used ignorant language in a few tweets to my friends. It was immature but it doesn’t represent the way I feel at all. I regret it and apologise.”
Republicans wasted no time in launching attacks on Collins, a frequent foe of the White House who was banned from press conferences after President Donald Trump took exception to her questions.
The Log Cabin Republican group shared the tweets, adding: “Past tweets reveal @CNN reporter @kaitlancollins called people ‘fag’ and was uncomfortable around lesbians.”
Breitbart, a popular website with the far-right, shared the news despite its own typical anti-LGBT editorial stance.
LGBT+ media figures have attempted to defend Collins.
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Out CNN exec Matt Dornic said: “I’m a proud gay man. And I am a proud friend of Kaitlan Collins.
“Tho I’m disappointed that she ever used the word (even as an immature college kid), I can say with certainty it doesn’t reflect her feelings toward the LGBTQ community. She’s apologized and I accept that.”
MSNBC host Joy Reid faced similar anger over homophobic posts on her former blog.
Reid issued an apology in December 2017 accepting responsibility for casual homophobia in posts to her Reid Report blog that she penned between 2007 and 2009.
However, the story took a strange twist in April when further allegations of homophobic posts to the blog surfaced on social media.
Reid denied writing the newly-surfaced posts, claiming that her site has been “compromised” by hackers to add the incriminating content.
After tech experts cast doubt on her version of events, LGBT group PFLAG cancelled plans to give Reid a Straight for Equality in Media award.
Reid insisted: “I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me, but I can definitely understand based on things I have tweeted and I have written in the past why some people don’t believe me.
“I have not been exempt from being dumb or cruel or hurtful to the very people I want to advocate for. I own that. I get it. And for that I am truly, truly sorry.”