Policy: National Security

White House official fired for years of secret, insulting tweets

By |
Politics,White House,Hillary Clinton,John Kerry,National Security,Benghazi,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,Twitter,Minusextra

A White House national security official was fired last week after he was exposed as the mystery tweeter who had been making insulting comments about Obama administration foreign policy officials and leaking internal information for more than two years.

Jofi Joseph, a director in the non-proliferation section of the White House national security staff and a member of the team involved in trying to negotiate with Iran to curb its nuclear weapons program, had been secretly tweeting under the @natsecwonk account, a feed followed inside the foreign policy community since its creation in 2011, the Daily Beast first reported Tuesday night.

@NatSecWonk's tweets

The mystery tweeter behind @NatSecWonk — revealed Tuesday to be a White House national security official — deleted the account earlier this week, but many of his tweets can still be found online. Here are some of his notable broadsides:

  • Vitriol against @AriFleischer entirely justified. He married a woman a decade younger than him - and she's as ugly as he is! #jackass
  • Don't we all agree now that Valerie Plame and her bloviating husband Joe Wilson are a couple addicted to attention and vanity?
  • Growing problem for the Administration -- too many 1st term holdovers not getting the hint that it's time to move on and get the [hell] out.
  • More people should be asking why John Kerry installed two former aides, both with ZERO foreign policy experience, into top posts at State.
  • Me thinks @PeggyNoonanNYC and @ChrisMatthews should get together and swap stories, share some drinks and discuss why they are irrelevant
  • Was Huma Abedin wearing beer goggles the night she met Anthony Wiener? Almost as bad a pairing as Samantha Powers and Cass Sunstein

More of @NatSecWonk's tweets can be found on Favstar.

The account was shut down last week. Administration officials identified Joseph, who has worked for the State Department and on Capitol Hill for Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Joe Biden, as the person behind the surreptitious tweets.

White House press secretary Jay Carney Wednesday declined to comment on what he said was a “personnel matter.”

“The individual does not work here anymore,” he said “I just don't have anything on it.”

The 40-year-old now former White House national security official spared very few top officials in his stream of attacks, which were harshly critical of administration policies and his bosses, insulting their intellect and appearance.

The targets of his attacks included former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, Secretary of State John Kerry and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. He also lashed out at Republican politicians, conservative journalists and staff on Capitol Hill.

Joseph was particularly critical of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Rhodes, both of whom he accused of obfuscating or dodging questions on Benghazi.

The revelation that @natsecwonk was Joseph sent shock waves through the foreign policy community Tuesday night. Joseph was well known in Washington's policy circles, and his wife, Carolyn Leddy, is a staffer on the GOP side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Daily Beast reported.

He told Politico in a piece posted Tuesday night that he “deeply regrets” tweeting hundreds of anti-administration messages.

“It has been a privilege to serve in this administration and I deeply regret violating the trust and confidence placed in me,” Joseph said in an email.

“What started out as an intended parody account of D.C. 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.”

View article comments Leave a comment