Social media has again proven it’s best to tread lightly when combining government employment and personal expression.
Last week Jofi Joseph, a White House national security official, was fired after using an anonymous Twitter account to post personal criticism against the Obama administration and others. Joseph has held the account for the past two years, and it has since been closed.
According to the Daily Beast, which first reported on the incident, Joseph, a director in the non-proliferation section of the National Security Staff at the White House, had been using the Twitter handle @natsecwonk to post insults and insider commentary about the foreign policy community and the president’s decision-making process.
Other notable officials targeted by Joseph’s commentary — which touched everything from physical appearance to family relationships — included National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, Secretary of State John Kerry and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Previously Joseph had worked at the State Department and on Capitol Hill for Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Joe Biden.
Multiple news agencies have reached out to Joseph who has declined to comment on his termination. The White House, due to staffing privacy, has only confirmed Joseph is no longer employed. The Washington Post reported that the White House had previously attempted to track the tweets, yet it is still unconfirmed if these efforts led to the discovery of Joseph’s connection to the @natsecwonk account.
While the Twitter account has been closed, many of the posts were saved at favstar.fm for public view. Joseph is also linked to @DCHobbyist, which has similar commentary, however, this account is accessible only to confirmed Twitter followers.