POLITICS

Ben Cole, Top Aide To Rep. Aaron Schock, Resigns Over Controversial Facebook Posts

02/05/2015 03:15 pm ET | Updated Feb 05, 2015

Ben Cole, a top aide to Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), resigned on Thursday after controversial posts from his Facebook page comparing black people to zoo animals were published by ThinkProgress and BuzzFeed.

"I am extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff," Schock said in a statement to the Journal Star. "I would expect better from any member of my team. Upon learning about them I met with Mr. Cole and he offered his resignation which I have accepted."

Cole's posts included one from August 2010 that said "they should build a mosque on the White House grounds." In a post accompanied by a photo in October 2013, when the government was shut down, Cole wrote that "the closing of the National Zoo has forced the animals to conduct their mating rituals on my street."

According to ThinkProgress, Cole is a former Baptist pastor and energy industry spokesman.

Schock's team was also under scrutiny this week when it was revealed the congressman had his office decorated to look like the elegant rooms from the PBS show "Downton Abbey." After a story was published in The Washington Post about the extravagant decor, Schock agreed to pay the decorator for her services.

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