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Jacob Wohl this week was collectively accused of running a smear operation against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in which he “enlisted” the help of his fake investigative company, SureFire Intelligence. The conservative, pro-Trump pundit was ridiculed all over the internet for his troubles—but what about the news website that pushed his hoax?
Thursday on the Gateway Pundit, the website that initially published Wohl’s discredited report of Mueller assaulting a woman in August 2010, Wohl was given free rein to push forward his story.
Nowhere in the interview is Wohl asked about his repeated denials that he wasn’t involved with SureFire when the story broke. (“Dude,” he recently told the Daily Beast. “I work for an influence marketing company in L.A.”)
Instead, Wohl is presented as the legitimate head of a company, even though that company’s legitimacy was thoroughly dismantled by journalists over the past two days.
The author of the article, Alicia Powe, told the Daily Dot that said she did not “get into details about SureFire” during the interview. Wohl claimed that the LinkedIn profiles for his firm, which used pictures of famous actors and models, were created by the media.
The article also published his comments against Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before the U.S. Senate about her sexual assault claim against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Wohl dismissed Ford because of her inability to remember some aspects of her crime.
The article also said that Wohl’s witness is now too spooked to testify:
“However, upon arriving in Washington, DC she panicked and boarded a flight to another location. Below is a photo of Wohl and the accuser, who at this time is fearful for her life and requests to remain anonymous.”
The Gateway Pundit, after it was revealed Wohl was attempting to dupe the country, retracted its story. It said it was originally published without proper vetting. In the comments of Wohl’s interview, a moderator said: “We have removed the original article authored by Jacob Wahl due to concerns that have been brought to our attention as to the validity of the article[.] Please note that under most circumstances our authors do not require prior approval to post.”
Screenshots from the original article, which has been taken down, show Jim Hoft as the author. Wohl previously wrote for Gateway Pundit, so it’s possible Hoft knew Wohl was involved in the discredited SureFire story. Hoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The author of the newest article, Powe, told the Daily Dot that she did not vet any of Wohl’s claims of his accuser’s credibility.
“I am not privy to any information about the accuser from Wohl that allowed me to verify/vet his claims in the video,” Powe said. “I just quoted what he told me about the accuser.”
So just days after the Pundit published false claims, it’s given him carte blanche to re-announce his claims, without challenging him on most of what’s occurred over the past two days.
Wohl’s ties to the Pundit were not initially disclosed in Powe’s story on Thursday. After being questioned, the Gateway Pundit told the Daily Dot that it will update it with a disclosure.
Wohl’s press conference is still slated to go forward at noon ET in Arlington, Virginia. You can watch Wohl’s video here.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated for clarity and context.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]