UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.
The tweet was deleted and Nebraska Republican Party Chairman Eric Underwood issued a second statement to 3 News Now. The party's original statement posted to Twitter was also deleted.
"Late this afternoon, I was notified of a graphic picture that was posted on the NEGOP Twitter account. The post was not authorized and has been removed. The person responsible for the tweet, the outgoing communication director, has been removed from the account and is no longer responsible for any NEGOP communication."
Underwood said the communication director was "outgoing" already.
The original story is below. A screenshot of the graphic tweet is here.
The Nebraska Republican Party's official Twitter account tweeted a cartoon depiction of oral sex Friday morning, claiming it's from material taught in Nebraska schools.
We are choosing not to share the image on our platforms, but ithasn't been removed and is here. A "potentially sensitive content" warning appears for some Twitter users, depending on settings.
The tweet's text reads: "Like fun haters against fellatio being taught to school age children? @janekleeb Well u are right!! We have principles and values, not 'everything goes' policies. Sorry to be sane."
It was in response to a tweet from Jane Kleeb, head of the state's Democratic Party, about gambling.
The @NEGOP says “gambling devastates the family”…who is going to tell them the majority of voters supported expanded casinos in our state? GOP are fun haters, job killers and freedom crushers. Their sad platform: https://t.co/VT7Zb1tFqs— Jane Fleming Kleeb (@janekleeb) August 18, 2022
Eric Underwood, who became chairman of the Nebraska Republican Party after leadership was ousted in July, says the party's focus is on events in Hastings and gave 3 News Now this statement: "We are supporting our State School Board candidates and Republican values to protect children, their education and parental rights. The tweet showcases the hard facts of what materials and books are in actually in Nebraska Schools, due to Democratic policies and agendas."
After providing the statement to 3 News Now, the account posted a slightly different one in a quote tweet of the original that added, "we apologize for the graphic nature of this tweet."
Underwood has not responded to 3 News Now's questions after the statement was sent via text message. We asked who authored the tweet, if it was approved, where it's from, and what school in Nebraska it can be found.
Nebraska's representatives in congress, Governor Pete Ricketts, and candidate for governor Jim Pillen have not responded to requests for comment on the tweet.
3 News Now has not confirmed the origin of the images, and the Nebraska Republican Party has not answered a question about where they come from. It appears it to be from "Gender Queer," a graphic memoir exploring topics on sexuality. Omaha Public Schools has not yet responded to our question about whether it's in any of the district's school libraries.
The book has been pulled from the shelves of school libraries across the country, according to several media reports. The West Des Moines, Iowa, school board voted in March not to remove the book, according to the Iowa Capitol Dispatch.
3 News Now has not found any evidence that the book is in curriculum being "taught to school age children," as the tweet claims.
Kleeb responded to the tweet: "What in the sweet baby Jesus are you doing and talking about? If you want to be some cult maybe just stick to that and not be the face of a political party. Wowzers."
The party responded: "Maybe keep track of your constituents and their agendas and your parties policies. No where to hide now @janekleeb. Call R’s what u want, it is free country!"