If you spend a lot of time on Twitter, you might have seen a Medium post being shared around yesterday in which a college student claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. It was an alarming claim, but reporting by The Daily Beast suggests the story was fabricated by two right-wing operatives, one of whom tried a similar thing with Robert Mueller last year.
The identity of a gay college Republican named Hunter Kelly appears to have been misused in the process, and today Kelly told The Daily Beast he's sorry he ever got involved with the operatives, Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl, and their "despicable scheme."
As recounted by Kelly, it was a creepy and ill-conceived plan:
The Daily Beast says that Burkman and Wohl recently paid for Kelly to fly to Washington, D.C. under false pretenses and then "pitched him on a plan to take down Buttigieg by coming up with a story that the South Bend mayor had sexually assaulted him during a visit he took to D.C. in February."
The operatives allegedly told Kelly they were involved in a "'task force set up by the Donald Trump administration."
To make a long and weird story short, Kelly then woke up one morning during his time with Burkman and Wohl to find that false accusations against Buttigieg had been posted in his name online.
When he got upset, the operatives allegedly tried to soothe him with a Subway sandwich, a promise of fame, and pledge to buy him a fancy new house.
Burkman is now claiming this was all initiated by Kelly, though Kelly strenuously denies that. And a recording obtained by The Daily Beast appears to show the other operative, Wohl, trying unsuccessfully to recruit a different Republican to smear Buttigieg by arguing that Buttigieg represents a "terminal threat” to the presidency of Donald Trump.
Buttigieg, for his part, is declining to engage with any of this.
But a number of folks on Twitter now want to know why Wohl, at least, isn't in jail:
The time is past overdue to arrest Jacob Wohl: After being banned from Twitter, Wohl has apparently learned nothing. Along with Jack Burkman, Wohl attempted to recruit young Republican men to level false sexual assault allegations against Pete Buttigieg https://t.co/UZEEPnkBrZ
— Bill Madden (@activist360) April 30, 2019