Sex-scandal hoaxer Jacob Wohl accused of trying to smear presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
Wohl and Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman reportedly attempted to convince several young Republican men to claim Buttigieg, the gay South Bend, Indiana mayor who has been climbing the Democratic ranks in 2020 presidential polls, sexually assaulted them, according to the Daily Beast, which claims to have spoken to two of the dynamic duo’s would-be partners.
One of the would-be victims supposedly provided the Beast with a recording of his meeting with Wohl and Burkman, in which Wohl refers to Buttigieg as a “terminal threat” to the re-election of Donald Trump. The comedy of errors that ensues is almost too ridiculous to be believed - Wohl and Burkman introduce themselves with obvious fake names, attempt to seduce the mark with promises of wealth, fame, and stardom (using Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford as an example of the superstardom awaiting the mark if he just gives a press conference accusing Buttigieg of sexual assault), and promise the mark that there are plenty of “actual victims” just waiting for him to be first. When he demurs, they ask him if he has any friends that would do it.
“This is the Fyre Festival of political operations,” the anonymous dupe told the Beast.
Meanwhile, Wohl’s father, attorney David Wohl, retweeted a now-deleted Medium post from an account named Hunter Kelly which reportedly told the story of his own “victimhood” at Buttigieg’s hands. Reached by phone, Kelly told the Beast the Medium account was an imposter, then posted on his Facebook that not only had he never been sexually assaulted, but that he was “working on a formal statement to give to everyone including the Buttigieg family” and would never falsely accuse anyone. He had gone to Washington, but only “to discuss political situations from the standpoint of a gay Republican,” a premise that doesn’t sound sketchy at all. The Advocate confirmed his story, posting a screenshot of a text with Wohl and a plane ticket.
Wow. So here’s a FB post from Hunter Kelly, who supposedly accused @PeteButtigieg of sexual assault in a Medium post. Kelly says he was absolutely not assaulted & never accused Buttigieg. Daily Beast reports Jacob Wohl, Jack Burkman behind it. This is so disturbing. pic.twitter.com/ydBokmMTyu— Amanda Prestigiacomo (@AmandaPresto) April 30, 2019
Twitter was abuzz with talk of the boneheaded scheme, finding it almost too absurd to be believed.
Sounds like Jacob Wohl is campaigning FOR Buttigieg considering how insane and stupid this plot was. https://t.co/mP5aGTuAiH— Tim Pool (@Timcast) April 30, 2019
Jacob Wohl is the Wile E. Coyote of doing crimes https://t.co/8zLnds5IrM— Juggalocialism (@UweBollocks) April 30, 2019
Most people marveled at how Wohl could pull what appeared to be flagrantly illegal schemes and never go to jail...
How is he not being charged over these? Don't tell me recruiting people to falsely accuse rape is not a crime.— Todd Poirier (@todd_poirier) April 30, 2019
The real Hunter Kelly needs to sue Jacob Wohl for every cent he has. Sued for defamation. And Jacob Wohl should be charged with identity theft. Wohl should be in some sort of serious legal trouble for this.— Gold Standard Ship (@AwesomeBamon) April 30, 2019
(though a minority insisted stupid wasn’t a crime)
And because people keep asking: no, recruiting people to lie about public figures is not a federal crime until you start lying to the federal government or using the lies to swindle people out of money (or possibly do it to attack a witness in a proceeding)— BeautifulArmsHat (@Popehat) April 30, 2019
Jacob Wohl's sole redeeming quality is that he's too stupid to pull off any of his schemes— JuanPa (@jpbrammer) April 30, 2019
News outlets like Gateway Pundit that had attempted to signal-boost the original “Hunter Kelly” accusations slyly edited their articles to reflect the new reality.
Gateway Pundit originally promoted the Jacob Wohl smear on Pete Buttigieg. Now that it collapsed, they've added a "fake news" graphic. This is now the second time Gateway Pundit has been duped — or "duped" — into publishing a Wohl smear. pic.twitter.com/6K6u3Zjw2l— Will Sommer (@willsommer) April 30, 2019
Plenty of right-wing websites pushed Wohl's obvious hoax today after it came out, including Big League Politics, PJ Media, and Gateway Pundit. pic.twitter.com/tOajTof4xU— Will Sommer (@willsommer) April 30, 2019
Even Wohl’s dad appeared to be ashamed, deleting his retweet of the “Hunter Kelly” post.
David Wohl has deleted this tweet pic.twitter.com/5qQ9dZs1hY— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) April 30, 2019
But a few people pointed out that getting duped by Wohl was nothing compared to spending two years hammering away at “Russian collusion.”