Huffington Post's Senior Enterprise Editor, Nick Baumann, sent a tweet just over a month ago that he probably wishes he could take back...or maybe not, they say there's no such thing as bad publicity after all.
The following tweet was sent by Baumann on Halloween and references destroying Trump ballots at a Washington D.C. polling station. Unfortunately, while Baumann said the whole thing was just a "joke about fake news," the FBI took it a bit more seriously.
@lachlan i love my job working at a voting site in washington dc destroying trump ballots— Nick Baumann (@NickBaumann) October 31, 2016
Just 4 days later, according to an article published by Baumann today on Huffington Post, he received a call from the FBI to followup on his tweet. While he dismissed the call as a "prank" by a disgruntled reader (of which we're sure he has many), it turned out to be quite real.
On Nov. 4, I received a call from someone who said he was an FBI agent and wanted to speak to me. I figured it was a prank. I get a lot of hate emails and angry voicemails, and I dismissed the insane possibility that the FBI would investigate an obvious joke on Twitter. I would’ve called back anyway, just to be sure. But it was right before the election, and I forgot about it.
Then, on Monday, a month later, I received a followup message. It was the same person. It turns out he really is a special agent in the Washington Field Office of the FBI.
“Sorry to bother you,” he said. “The reason I’m calling is — I can’t give you too many details over the phone — we recently received some complaints regarding some online postings that were made. I don’t know if you know what that’s in reference to, but would you be willing to sit down with us for a couple minutes tomorrow morning by chance?”
In the end, Baumann attributed the whole thing to a joke referencing fake news and the following tweet from @randygdub. Despite not living in Ohio and not having a job with the post office, several online websites picked up on Raandy's tweet about destroying Trump absentee ballots and ran with the story...a mistake that Baumann simply couldn't resist mocking.
i love working at the post office in Columbus, Ohio and ripping up absentee ballots that vote for trump— raandy (@randygdub) October 16, 2016
The whole situation was ultimately cleared up with a letter from the DC Board of Elections confirming that Baumann was not a poll worker. That said, it obviously didn't stop him from taking some parting shots at the FBI, who he said need to work on their "bullshit meter."
Of course, as usual, we find it hilariously ironic that a Huffington Post editor would mock "fake news" given Arianna Huffington's pledge to use HuffPo as an outlet to "echo" the Hillary campaign message "without any perceived conflicts"...
And who can forget the time that HuffPo fired a journalist for having the audacity to write an article questioning Hillary's health just 11 days before she collapsed from "pneumonia" on 9/11.
Sure, HuffPo is the "real news."