On Monday, Pete Buttigieg, openly gay Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate, was accused of sexual assault by a man named “Hunter Kelly,” who posted on Medium about the alleged incident. The post has since been taken down but the URL remains, which reads, “@realHunterKelly/pete-buttigieg-sexually-assaulted-me.”
Before it was taken down, “Hunter Kelly’s” post was picked up by over-the-top, right-wing sites like Gateway Pundit and Big League Politics, but their articles were also removed when The Daily Beast reported that the accusations were false after they tracked down the ACTUAL Hunter Kelly and another unnamed source.
According to the report:
‘The Daily Beast reached out to Kelly on a cell phone listed to him in the student directory at his Michigan college. Told we were reporting on apparent efforts by Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman to drum up false sexual assault allegations against Buttigieg, Kelly replied, “I was unaware this was happening. But yes it is true.”
‘Kelly wrote that he did not control the newly-created Medium and Twitter accounts that posted the allegations under his name. When asked if he could verify his identity, he texted the Daily Beast a selfie that matched the photo seen on Medium and on Kelly’s longstanding Facebook accounts.
‘“Here is a selfie of me, sorry I have been crying,” he wrote. “Today and the promises made didn’t go as planned.”
‘Kelly declined to provide more details. But two hours later he posted a message to his Facebook timeline headed, “I WAS NOT SEXUALLY ASSAULTED.”’
Kelly goes on to say:
‘It’s important for everyone to know that I was not sexually assaulted and would never falsely accuse anyone.
‘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.’
The tweet that Kelly claims was put up by someone who had created the account in his name, was retweeted by a man named David Wohl, who just happens to be the father of well-known internet troll, Jacob Wohl. This tidbit is interesting because Kelly told The Advocate that Jacob Wohl and D.C. lobbyist Jack Burkman approached him last week to try to get him to accuse Mayor Buttigieg of assault.
In addition, The Daily Beast noted that Jack Burkman may have been setting up what was about to happen, because he tweeted last Monday, “2020 is shaping up to be more exciting than 2016. Looking like it will be Trump vs. Mayor Pete! Get the popcorn ready!”
The Daily Beast also reported that in addition to Kelly, a separate source was approached by Burkman and Wohl last week:
A Republican source told The Daily Beast that lobbyist Jack Burkman and internet troll Jacob Wohl approached him last week to try to convince him to falsely accuse Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, of engaging him sexually while he was too drunk to consent.
‘The source who spoke to The Daily Beast said Burkman and Wohl made clear that their goal was to kneecap Buttigieg’s momentum in the 2020 presidential race. The man asked to remain anonymous out of a concern that the resulting publicity might imperil his employment, and because he said Wohl and Burkman have a reputation for vindictiveness.
The pitch by Wohl and Burkman wasn’t detailed, the source said, but it resembled past attempts by the duo to peddle dubious sexual assault allegations against perceived political foes. It would involve the accuser giving a press conference where he would publicly make his accusations about Buttigieg. The source said Wohl and Burkman seemed to want him to figure out many of the details, including a window of time during which he and Buttigieg were both in Washington, when the fabricated offense may have occurred.
‘When the source expressed reluctance, they assured him the scheme would make him wealthy, famous, and a star in Republican politics. Wohl cited the national recognition given to Christine Blasey Ford after she accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault during his confirmation hearings last year.
This source, who described himself as a “Trump supporter” said he recognized the two men’s names because of “friends in the Republican Party” and knew of their reputations, and this prompted him to record the conversation which corroborates his story. He then gave the recording to The Daily Beast and it was analyzed by audio specialist, Hafiz Malik, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, who said of the recording:
‘Our findings are that it is highly likely that one of the voice on the recording is Jacob Wohl’s voice.’
Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl have been scrutinized in the past for pulling stunts like this. They were behind the allegations that Rep. Ilahn Omar (D-MN) married her brother in order to get him citizenship. While supposedly “investigating” those claims against Omar, Wohl claimed he received death threats, which also turned out to be fake.
Recounting how ridiculous his conversation was with the two “smear merchants” (as The Daily Beast so aptly calls them) were, the Republican source said, “I was sitting there thinking: this is the Fyre Festival of political operations.”
Since The Daily Beast’s report came out on Monday, neither Burkman or Wohl have responded, but after reading the report, and also the information they collected and source articles cited, it’s obvious that Burkman and Wohl are full of crap. We hope that all of the social media accounts involved will be taken down, including the one supposedly run by Jacob Wohl’s father David. It’s also about time that D.C. Republicans stop associating with Jack Burkman.
Featured image via combined screenshots