Far-right troll Jacob Wohl and conservative lobbyist Jack Burkman recruited young gay men to make false sexual assault allegations against Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, The Daily Beast reports.
On Monday, a man posted an allegation against Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, before retracting it hours later on his Facebook page.
Another man, who identified himself as a pro-Trump Republican, told The Daily Beast that Wohl and Burkman approached him a week earlier to persuade him to make false allegations against Buttigieg. The man told The Beast that Wohl and Burkman made clear they planned to hurt Buttigieg’s campaign and provided an audio recording to the outlet in which Wohl refers to Buttigieg as a “terminal threat” to Trump’s reelection.
False accuser admits Wohl put him up to it:
On Monday, a man using the name Hunter Kelly wrote in a Medium post that Buttigieg assaulted him in February. The post was tweeted by Wohl’s father, David Wohl, and picked up by conservative conspiracy theory outlets.
The man confirmed to the Daily Beast that Wohl and Burkman recruited him and later wrote on Facebook, “I WAS NOT SEXUALLY ASSAULTED.”
“It's important for everyone to know that I was not sexually assaulted and would never falsely accuse anyone,” he wrote. “To keep it brief for now, I was approached by a political figure to come to DC to discuss political situations from the standpoint of a gay Republican. When I arrived they discussed Peter Buttigieg and started talking about how they would be working a campaign against him.”
“I went to bed and woke up to a fake Twitter @RealHunterKelly and an article that I in no way endorsed or wrote. I have since left and am working on a formal statement to give to everyone including the Buttigieg family.”
Wohl also behind fake Bob Mueller allegations:
Wohl appears to have used the same strategy in this instance as he did last year in his failed attempt to smear special counsel Bob Mueller.
Wohl and Burkman recruited a woman to make false allegations against Mueller in October 2017.
Mueller’s office said it learned of the plot and referred it to the FBI.
“When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” Mueller’s spokesperson said in a statement.