Members of the environmental justice movement sent an email blast more than 5,600 times over a 48-hour period to top Biden administration officials, disrupting White House communication and sparking a tense exchange between the administration’s chief environmental outreach official and one of the key leaders of the movement.

The form-letter blast effectively shut down email communication over two August days between high-ranking Biden administration officials, including national climate adviser Gina McCarthy, her deputy Ali Zaidi, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and David Kieve, who leads outreach to environmental groups for the White House, according to Erika Thi Patterson, campaign director with the Action Center on Race and the Economy, and two others familiar with the incident.

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