Anonymous White House tweeter caught out, loses job

24 Oct 2013

Image via Orhan Cam/Shutterstock

For two years, an ascerbic Twitter account criticising White House staffers and public figures has plagued America’s political community. Now, the man behind the anonymous account has been revealed to be a national security official.

The Twitter account of @NatSecWonk was closely watched by those operating in US politics. Since February 2011, this account has been spurting out insulting commentary on the day-to-day goings-on at the White House and Capitol Hill, tweeting pointed attacks from which no one appeared to be safe.

Last week, the account was deleted from the micro-blogging network and The Daily Beast reporter Josh Rogin revealed yesterday that Jofi Joseph, a member of the White House’s National Security Council Staff, was discovered as the person behind the @NatSecWonk tweets and subsequently fired.

In his official role as director of nuclear non-proliferation, Joseph had been involved in negotiating nuclear issues with Iran. But, as @NatSecWonk, he sent hundreds of critical tweets, some of which are said to have leaked internal information.

“So when will someone do us the favor of getting rid of Sarah Palin and the rest of her white trash family?” and “I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me,” are just two examples that show how Joseph’s tweets bore no allegiance to either the Republican or Democrat parties. He also wasn’t afraid to slate his own colleagues, tweeting “’Has shitty staff.’ #ObamaInThreeWords.”


Speaking to Politico, Joseph expressed his regret for his behaviour. “It has been a privilege to serve in this Administration and I deeply regret violating the trust and confidence placed in me,” he said via email.

In a last-ditch attempt at damage control, he offered an apology to those that suffered his biting tweeted attacks. “What started out as an intended parody account of DC culture developed over time into a series of inappropriate and mean-spirited comments. I bear complete responsibility for this affair and I sincerely apologize to everyone I insulted,” he wrote.

@NatSecWonk’s identity was reportedly the focus of a months-long probe and, during this investigation, officials also suspected that Joseph was behind andother anonymous DC-insider account, @dchobbiyist.

These tweets share salacious details on sexual encounters and escort services, but the unknown tweeter recently switched to a protected account due to “a bunch of strange tweets” and is no longer accepting followers owing to “an odd fascination with me right now”, according to the account bio.

The White House image by Orhan Cam via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.