WH official fired for snarky tweets about colleagues

Jofi Joseph, aka @natsecwonk

Josh Rogin of The Daily Beast reports that a White House national security official has been fired for anonymously tweeting insulting comments over a two-year period, many targeted at top White House and State Department officials.

The individual was identified as Jofi Joseph, a director in the non-proliferation section of the National Security Staff at the White House. Tweeting under the handle @natsecwonk, Joseph also worked previously at the State Department and on Capitol Hill for Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Joe Biden. Until recently, he was part of the administration’s team working on negotiations with Iran.

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As @natsecwonk, Joseph openly criticized the policies of his White House bosses and often took shots at their intellect and appearance. Among his targets were Obama adviser and long-time pal Valerie Jarrett, former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Rogin writes that the @natsecwonk Twitter account was shut down last week but that the Daily Beast had managed to preserve a history of Joseph’s zingers. Among these are the following:

I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me.


Was Huma Abedin wearing beer goggles the night she met Anthony Wiener? Almost as bad a pairing as Samantha Powers and Cass Sunstein.

But Joseph was an equal opportunity defamer, occasionally directing his insuts at Republicans. Some examples:

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.


@MiekeEoyang Come on, I expected better of you. @jrubinblogger is CRAZY unhinged while @noonanjo is an overweight paid Romney shill.

The second tweet, which appeared during the 2012 presidential election, takes aim at Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin and Romney campaign national security staffer John Noonan.

Rogin notes in closing:

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.

Not everyone, however, is surprised that a White House staffer charged with keeping the nation secure would behave so shockingly. Today’s New York Times writes that another higher-up in the Obama administration actually appeared bored during the Syria briefings two months ago:

[C]urrent and former officials said [the individual’s] body language was telling: he often appeared impatient or disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.

So who is this shiftless layabout that should be sent packing immediately? His name is Barack Obama.

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