Report: Wohl, Burkman Try To Fabricate Sexual Assault Allegations Against Buttigieg

Lobbyist Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl during a press conference. (Tierney Sneed/TPM)

Right-wing troll Jacob Wohl and GOP lobbyist Jack Burkman are trying to recruit people to levy false accusations of sexual assault against Democratic candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

According to a Daily Beast report, a post popped up Monday on Medium penned by a man named Hunter Kelly accusing Buttigieg of assaulting him. When the Beast contacted him, Kelly said that the Medium post, and an accompanying Twitter account, were made without his permission or participation.

He posted on Facebook under the heading, “I WAS NOT SEXUALLY ASSAULTED.”

Kelly told the Advocate that Wohl and Burkman flew him to Washington, D.C. to sell him on the scheme, but that he didn’t agree to it.

Another source, a self-identified Trump supporter, told the Daily Beast that the pair — using aliases — approached him last week to push him to claim that Buttigieg assaulted him when he was too drunk to consent. The source also gave the outlet a recording of the conversation that corroborated his claims.

Wohl and Burkman reportedly told the man that the allegations would make him famous and prove a “catalyst” for real victims to come forward. They were candid that the scheme’s intent was to quash the mayor’s momentum.

Buttigieg brushed off the attempted smear campaign.

“It’s not going to throw us,” he told the Daily Beast. “Politics can be ugly sometimes but you have to face that when you’re in presidential politics.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: