The Washington Post and other media outlets reported on an FBI raid of controversial conservative Jack Burkman’s home, only to later correct their stories after an actor said he was hired to help stage the event.
“FBI raids home of conservative conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman,” The Post reported on Monday morning.
That headline was quickly changed and the journalist behind the story backtracked on Twitter. That’s after a report was released by The Daily Beast, containing an interview with an actor who claimed he and others had been hired by Burkman’s business partner Jacob Wohl to portray FBI agents for the filming of a series of scenes at Burkman’s Arlington, Virginia home.
Tommy Abraham told The Daily Beast he responded to a Craigslist ad offering $400 cash payments to white male actors. Abraham provided emails between himself and his employer, whom he says he discovered was likely Wohl pretending to be someone else.
Pictures of the raid were posted to a Twitter account that was created in August and has no previous activity. The FBI confirmed on Monday afternoon that no such raid had taken place.
This was the scene outside the home of conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman this morning pic.twitter.com/jNvdHMtz90
“The FBI Washington Field Office was not present at the specified location for law enforcement activity,” a spokesperson told The Washingtonian.
Wohl claimed the agency took all of Burkman’s “files, computers and phones.”
Based on the update from the Beast report and then the official FBI denial, The Post changed its story’s headline multiple times, finally settling on “FBI says no raid was conducted at home of conservative conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman.”
Here are some screenshots of the Washington Post’s apparently now-debunked Jack Burkman story pic.twitter.com/fI7F7RaGts
Burkman and Wohl are known for a variety of stunts that have gotten the attention of the mainstream media. Burkman was once even shot in the rear end by a man he’d hired to help investigate the death of Seth Rich, a Democrat National Committee employee who was killed in 2016.
Burkman claimed in an email to The Daily Beast that the FBI raid was motivated by an independent investigation he is running into former Pentagon chief James Mattis. Burkman often announces investigations into people he perceives as opponents to the president.
The Washington Post has been blasted online for falling for the FBI ‘raid’ and having to backpedal.
The Washington Post got tricked by Jacob Wohl. This should be their last day in business. Embarrassment of this level doesn’t wash off.
Extremely embarrassing (and scary) that Washington Post fell for this prank @washingtonpost https://t.co/PNNoct0bXQ