From NBC News, November 1, 2018
Jacob Wohl, a pro-Trump fan of conspiracy theories, and Jack Burkman, a conservative lobbyist and radio host, stood in front of a half-full room of reporters and activists at a D.C.-area Holiday Inn Thursday to detail their allegations of sexual misconduct against Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The woman who they said has made those allegations, a Los Angeles native in her 30s, was slated to attend the news conference and give her own account. But, Wohl said, she feared for her life and on arriving in Washington, "panicked and boarded a flight to another location." Burkman promised she would appear at another news conference in the near future.
Wohl and Burkman took turns speaking at the podium, detailing the allegations, complimenting each other, and defending their professional records against charges of conspiracy peddling and political bias.
The conference was streamed by several reporters in the room. A pickup truck parked in the lot outside by one of the activists in attendance carried a giant inflatable rat wearing a blond Trump toupee.
Earlier this week, several journalists reported on Twitter that they had received suspicious emails from a woman claiming someone had offered to pay her for making sexual misconduct allegations against Mueller. The journalists said those offers had come from SureFire Intelligence, a company NBC News connected to Jacob Wohl through telephone and domain records. Their claims were later bolstered by a second woman who came forward with an email offering similar payments in exchange for smearing Mueller, signed by a SureFire agent.
Burkman opened the news conference by addressing the controversy.
"None of this is true," Burkman said of the allegations he and Wohl had been involved in a plot.
"There were no offers of payment, there was no wrongdoing, there was no bribery, there was nothing illegal or untoward or unethical that took place here," Wohl said.
The special counsel's office asked the FBI to investigate the matter last week, after learning of the alleged plot to smear Mueller. Burkman and Wohl said they had not been contacted by the FBI. "I don't think the bureau would embarrass itself by calling us, talking about people that don't exist," Burkman said.
Wohl told reporters the woman making allegations had contacted Wohl with claims Mueller had sexually assaulted her in a New York City hotel room in August of 2010.
Explaining that his "default position" is "to not believe" women who come forward with allegations of sexual assault, Wohl told reporters that he found the woman now accusing Mueller credible. Wohl said that he met her after she hired his company SureFire Intelligence to handle "an estate matter." She later came back to him with the allegations.
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