It turns out the disappearance in recent days of a noted snarky national security tweeter was no Halloween prank after all. The anonymous personality known to Twitter as @natsecwonk has not only been outed, but is out of a job.
A senior National Security Council staffer who was a key member of the White House team negotiating on Iran’s nuclear weapons program told POLITICO he deeply regrets tweeting hundreds of anti-administration messages under the pseudonym @natsecwonk.
Jofi Joseph, 40, was fired from his job on the NSC nuclear non-proliferation team a week ago after a months-long probe into a barrage of tweets that included caustic criticisms of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and top NSC officials, especially Ben Rhodes – whom he accused of dodging questions about Benghazi.
“It has been a privilege to serve in this Administration and I deeply regret violating the trust and confidence placed in me,” Joseph told POLITICO 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.”
Joseph’s @natsecwonk bio was an apt description, “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.”
The Daily Beast, which first broke the story, collected many of the account’s tweets before it was shut down, and offered this sampling in its post:
“I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me,” he once tweeted.
“Was Huma Abedin wearing beer goggles the night she met Anthony Wiener? Almost as bad a pairing as Samantha Powers and Cass Sunstein ….”
[…] “So when will someone do us the favor of getting rid of Sarah Palin and the rest of her white trash family? What utter useless garbage …. ,” he tweeted last October.
During the 2012 Presidential campaign, he lashed out at conservative journalists and members of the presidential campaign staff of Mitt Romney
“@MiekeEoyang Come on, I expected better of you. @jrubinblogger is CRAZY unhinged while @noonanjo is an overweight paid Romney shill,” he tweeted, referring to the Washington Post’s conservative blogger Jen Rubin and Romney campaign national security staffer John Noonan.
And as the Daily Beast points out, the account’s identity took many by surprise for a couple reasons:
For many in the foreign policy community reacting Tuesday night, the revelation that Joseph was the mystery tweeter @natsecwonk was a shock because Joseph was well known among policy wonks and his wife, Carolyn Leddy, is a well-respected professional staffer on the Republican side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Read the whole exclusive from Josh Rogin at the Daily Beast.