Hapless pro-Trump operative Jacob Wohl appears to have staged a fake protest against himself, only to have it become immediately apparent that he was behind it.
Wohl and his ally, Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman, have been planning to hold a press conference Wednesday at Burkman’s Northern Virginia house to push a baseless sexual assault smear against Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg. But on Monday, Burkman tweeted a link to an Eventbrite event page called the “Protest Against Homophobic Bigots” which he claimed was being used to organize a protest against his press conference with Wohl.
“Hundreds of leftist protestors are set to descend on our Wednesday Press conference,” Burkman tweeted,” Burkman tweeted. “We WILL NOT surrender to the mob! We’ve called in extra security to guard our safety and that of our partners in the media.”
Before Burkman’s tweet, no other Twitter account had ever promoted the event page. And it quickly became apparent as to why. Reporter Justin Duckham noticed that the Eventbrite page’s organizer used the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” — an email address also used by Wohl.
Though it looked remarkably clear that Wohl had tried to organize a protest against himself, Wohl denied any involvement.
“I’ve never used Eventbrite in my life,” Wohl said. “It was created by a troll.”
Burkman, like Wohl, also said he wasn’t involved in the event. In a text message, he blamed the event page on “internet trols (sic).”
“Ur a great guy but I would suggest less time on the internet,” Burkman texted The Daily Beast.
An Eventbrite spokesperson declined to reveal the identity of the event organizer, but said that the account had never been used on Eventbrite before. Eventbrite later deleted the event, describing it as in violation of Eventbrite’s rules against inauthentic content.
“We take the issue of inauthentic content very seriously and our policy is to remove it when we become aware of it,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Upon review of this event, we determined it to be in violation and have taken it off our platform and terminated this account.”
This is far from the first time Wohl and Burkman have seen their plans unravel. Last November, they attempted to smear Special Counsel Robert Mueller with sexual assault allegations, only to have their press conference detailing the accusation fall apart when their accuser failed to show. The “accuser” later said Wohl and Burkman had faked the allegations. Meanwhile, a fake intelligence agency Wohl had created to smear Mueller was revealed to be another fabrication, with pictures of its “employees” just headshots of models and Hollywood actors.
Last week, meanwhile, The Daily Beast reported on a recording of Wohl urging a young man to fabricate a sexual assault allegation against Buttigieg. Another person roped into the scheme, Hunter Kelly, has since said that Wohl and Burkman pressured him to make similar accusations against the South Bend mayor.
If Wohl is behind the Wednesday counter-protest, it wouldn’t be the first time he faked attacks on himself. In March, Wohl was caught faking death threats against himself on Twitter and reporting them to the police as legitimate. Before entering politics, Wohl became famous as the youngest person to ever receive a lifetime ban from the National Futures Association.