COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s No. 2 elected official is questioning the state’s top financial officer over tweets sent as investigators assessed a security threat at the Port of Charleston.

Just after 6 a.m. Thursday, Treasurer Curtis Loftis sent a Twitter message referencing overnight reports of a “dirty bomb” on a container ship.

From his verified account, Loftis wrote it wasn’t a “dirty bomb” but “a PRETTY BLONDE. Her shift is over and she has gone home.”

Loftis’ message was sent as word began to spread authorities had found no threat.

On Twitter, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant asked Loftis if he were “belittling a potential threat” or “demeaning women.” Loftis accused Bryant of sounding “desperate.”

Bryant told The Associated Press he found Loftis’ messages flippant. Loftis’ office didn’t respond to a phone message.

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