BURBANK (CBSLA) — A Southern California congressman is defending a now-deleted tweet that appeared to mock critics of a caravan of thousands of Central Americans walking toward the Mexico-U.S. border.

Schiff posted an explanation of the Oct. 23 tweet on Tuesday night after apparently taking down an earlier tweet that went out to his more than 1 million followers on Twitter.

“Yes, I was being sarcastic, but if my previous tweet was too convoluted let me be crystal clear: These are but a few of the most egregious lies being told about those fleeing violence and risking everything to seek a better life. Trump merely seeks to exploit their desperation”, Schiff wrote.

Schiff’s tweet referenced billionaire philanthropist George Soros and the Democrats hours before a series of suspicious items were sent to Soros, the Clintons, the Obamas, and other prominent Democratic leaders.

In it, he mockingly described the caravan as “murderers, gang members, and Middle Easterners” who “pose a dire threat to America”.

Hours earlier on Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed the caravan does contain some who are “gang members or have significant criminal histories.”

Along with the Obamas and the Clintons, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was among several Democratic political officials who were sent suspicious packages Tuesday, several of which were confirmed to contain explosive devices.

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