Two right-wing agitators have been approaching men and asking them to falsely accuse Pete Buttigieg of sexual assault, a Republican source told The Daily Beast on Monday.
Buttigieg is the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. The source, who asked The Daily Beast not to use his name over fears of retaliation, alleges he was asked last week by Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl to lie and say Buttigieg assaulted him when he was drunk, in an attempt to harm Buttigieg politically. Burkman and Wohl used false names, the man said, but he recognized Wohl, and knowing his history as an online troll, he decided to record their conversation. An audio forensics expert who listened to the recording for The Daily Beast confirmed that Wohl is one of the speakers.
The source, who described himself as a supporter of President Trump, told The Daily Beast that during the meeting he was thinking the scheme was “the Fyre Festival of political operations.” He did not agree to participate.
On Monday, a person using the name Hunter Kelly published a post on Medium accusing Buttigieg of sexually assaulting him in February. A writeup of this post on a right-wing conspiracy website was tweeted by Wohl’s father, David. The Daily Beast tracked down Kelly, who said he has no control over the Medium account or a Twitter account created this month in his name. He then wrote on Facebook that he “was not sexually assaulted and would never falsely accuse anyone,” and he told The Advocate that Wohl and Burkman had tried to rope him into their scheme Sunday.
Wohl and Burkman did not respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment. Buttigieg said the false accusation is “not going to throw us. Politics can be ugly sometimes, but you have to face that when you’re in presidential politics.” Read more about this convoluted tale at The Daily Beast.
Read more: theweek.com