The White House confirmed yesterday that 40-year-old National Security Council Staffer Jofi Joseph no longer works for the Obama administration but declined to say why. Information has since surfaced that Joseph was identified as the brains (and the fingers) behind the Twitter feed @NatSecWonk, an account that started as a satire of people and the culture within the State Department and the National Security Agency. The tweets took a malicious turn, making personal attacks on White House and Administration staffers.
Here is what you need to know about this insider with a mind of his own:
1. Joseph Worked for Obama on Iranian Nuclear Nonproliferation
After a number of promotions through the State Department, Joseph joined a team working on the Obama administration’s policy toward Iran’s nuclear weapons programs.
2. @NatSecWonk Began Tweeting in 2011, Blasting the Administration & Attacking Staffers
@NatSecWonk published its first tweet on February 21, 2011, which lampooned the prevalence of State Department staffers to go on television or tweet about the United State’s Arab Spring policy.
The tweet read:
Now that Egypt has been solved and I’m done advising the Administration, it’s time for me to get all 2010 and join Twitter! This will be fun.
You can read some of his more controversial tweets below:
3. He May Have Been Brought Down By an Elaborate Sting
The Washington Post reports that insiders in the Administration began to get suspicious, based on some of the specific and personal knowledge revealed in the tweets, that the @NatSecWonk account was being controlled by someone on the “inside.”
Armed with that knowledge, the administration began planting false information to different staffers to see what would come out in the tweets. It is however, unclear as to whether or not this sting led directly to Joseph being uncovered.
4. He Issued An Apology
In an email to Politico, Joseph apologized for the content on the Twitter account, as well as its existence because SEC employees are not allowed to have social media pages for security reasons.
It has been a privilege to serve in this Administration and I deeply regret violating the trust and confidence placed in me. 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.
5. He Could Have a Second Twitter Account
This account is reported to tweet about the seedier underside of the State Department including sex rumors about encounters within the administration and with escort services.