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Screengrab from Gizmodo

Are these the secret social media profiles of FBI Director James Comey?

Comey’s apparently a big fan of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.


Nidia Cavazos


FBI Director James Comey apparently can’t resist social media. Wednesday at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance leadership dinner he copped to using Twitter and Instagram. He even mentioned he only has nine followers.

For Ashley Feinberg, a reporter at Gizomodo, this was all she needed. She caught this apparent gaffe and took on the challenge of finding Comey’s social media profiles. 

Comey said he doesn’t let anyone into his profiles, they’re only for family members. So if you can find at least one of his family members, the path to finding Comey’s profile gets easier. This led Feinberg to Comey’s 22-year-old son, Brien Comey, who has the largest presence online. He is a basketball player at Kenyon college. She tracked his Instagram account, which was private. But when you request to follow a profile on Instagram, you immediately get “suggestions” for other related profiles to follow. Instagram’s loophole made a significant suggestion: Patrice Comey. Brien’s mom and James’ wife.

Feinberg then found the account with nine followers, reinholdniebuhr. It turns out Comey’s college thesis at the College of William and Mary was on theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. Bingo.

That eventually led her to a Niebuhr-inspired Twitter account, which is followed by real-life friend of Comey’s, Benjamin Wittes. The Twitter account remains private.

Thursday evening the Instagram account could do little but literally applaud the effort, posting a video from Citizen Kane and tagging Feinberg.

Comey Instagram
Screengrab via reinholdniebuhr/Instagram

You can read all about Feinberg’s process here.

H/T Gizmodo

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