White House Twitter Mole Caught, Fired

Jofi Joseph was the man behind the @NatSecWonk Twitter handle, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday, and that extracurricular activity cost him his White House job last week. Joseph was fired from his job as a director on the White House's National Security Staff after nearly three years running the Twitter account, which often made crude and offensive jokes and publicized internal information from President Barack Obama's administration.

Apparently, the firing was the result of a "months-long" probe into @NatSecWonk's identity. Before he was told to hit the road, Joseph was working on negotiations with Iran about its nuclear weapons program — you know, not sensitive information or anything.

Politico got a statement from Joseph Tuesday night.

It has been a privilege to serve in this Administration and I deeply regret violating the trust and confidence placed in me,” he wrote in an email. “What started out as an intended parody account of DC 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.

Isn't that nice? Here's the kicker: apparently Joseph also ran a second gossip account, with the handle @dchobbyist. Good thing his day job was keeping him busy saving the world from stray nukes.

Daily Beast reporter Josh Rogin broke the story.

Though there was definitely no love lost between Rogin and NatSecWonk:

The user's bio on the now-deleted account described him as someone who "Unapologetically says what everyone else only thinks. A keen observer of the foreign policy and national security scene. I'm abrasive and bring the snark."

Before the news of NatSecWonk's true identity broke, a source had some less-than-glowing statements for Foreign Policy. "NatSecWonk was an acerbic Twitter pundit that relished taking anonymous shots at senior leaders who are doing their very best for this country," the source wrote in an email. "The rants seemed pathological and personal. I hope whoever was behind the feed will get better soon. Their hate, rebranded as 'snark,' will not be missed."

But hey, because this is the age of the internet, the NSA isn't the only one backing up what we do online. The good folks at FavStar ("[A] site tracking what you, your friends, and everyone else is favoriting and retweeting on Twitter") have some of his Tweets backed up. Here are some of our favorites, taken from his less offensive Tweets:

  1. Here's the bottom line: @wikileaks can go fuck themselves.
  2. Don't we all agree now that Valerie Plame and her bloviating husband Joe Wilson are a couple addicted to attention and vanity?
  3. Growing problem for the Administration -- too many 1st term holdovers not getting the hint that it's time to move on and get the fuck out.
  4. Does anyone really care what @sulliview thinks? The NY Times Public Editor is a joke. Never seen more navel self-gazing in my life.
  5. Me thinks @peggynoonannyc and @chrismatthews should get together and swap stories, share some drinks and discuss why they are irrelevant

The only person @NatSecWonk liked was the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg. Now that he's gone, though, the journos have taken up the snark mantle.

Still, at least he isn't getting charged under the Espionage Act like some people who get on the Obama Administration's bad side. Or did we speak too soon?