U.S.

Jacob Wohl, Jack Burkman Press Conference Turns Ridiculous as Inflatable Rat Shows Up but Key Witness No-Shows

Days after conservative lobbyist Jack Burkman announced that he had arranged for a woman residing in California to give a Washington, D.C., press conference accusing special counsel Robert Mueller of sexual assault, the press conference flopped because the alleged accuser failed to show up.

Burkman told Newsweek on Tuesday that he had spoken to five women who were accusing the special counsel of sexual assault and willing to go on the record. But he claimed that only one of these women had been properly vetted and was willing to speak publicly this week.

Hours before the press conference was scheduled to take place, however, Burkman announced that the woman had decided not to appear because she was afraid for her life. No evidence has been presented thus far that any women exist who want to accuse the special counsel in the Russia investigation of assault.

Nevertheless, a handful of people showed up to listen to what Burkman and his associate Jacob Wohl had to say at their noon press conference. At least one left-leaning activist brought a giant inflatable rat wearing a wig that resembled President Donald Trump’s hair.

Wohl, a pro-Trump, 20-year-old social media personality, set up a fake company to peddle the accusations against Mueller. The company was named Surefire Intelligence and purported to be established by former members of Israeli intelligence.

During Thursday’s press conference, Wohl defended his decision to create a fake company by saying it was an attempt to preserve his anonymity. He did not comment on why his mother’s phone number was listed as the company’s number or why he used pictures of celebrities to create the online profiles of fictitious employees. He did, however, berate reporters for having called his mother and younger sister. He also complained that reporters had digitally manipulated his image onto a corn cob. 

The two men said that the accuser’s name is Carolyne Cass, but they did not explain why the alleged victim agreed to have her name released publicly if she was too afraid for her life to appear in public. During the event, Burkman went on to defend Wohl’s young age, claiming that the Twitter personality is "a child prodigy that has eclipsed Mozart” and one of “the brightest and most capable people I’ve ever met.”

Wohl, meanwhile, accused the media of attempting to do Mueller’s bidding. Several weeks ago, numerous reporters, including two from Newsweek, received emails from a woman who claimed that an associate of Burkman’s had offered her money to falsely accuse Mueller of sexual assault. The identity of the woman could not be verified, and no one published the allegations. The FBI is now investigating whether the allegations of bribery are true.

Burkman has a history of promoting conspiracy theories and previous press conferences that he organized have unfolded similarly to Thursday’s event.

Jacob Wohl, Jack Burkman Press Conference robert mueller Then FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, in Washington, D.C., on June 13, 2013. No evidence has been presented thus far for the existence of any women who want to accuse Mueller of assault. Alex Wong/Getty Images

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