Ferris State Student Caught Up In Bizarre Fake News Plot
Hunter Kelly, a gay student and Trump supporter at the Big Rapids school got caught up in a weird news story that swirled out of control.
Kelly, 21, says he was approached by two conservative activists about making up a story in which he would accuse Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg of making an inappropriate advance on him.
Kelly says Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman were behind the plot, which Kelly said he bailed out of early Sunday morning. By that time, the story had already run on the web site Medium, allegedly written by Kelly.
After learning of the article being published, Kelly went on social media to deny being a part of it or having written the article. Medium has since removed it from its site.
Right-leaning news sites published the claim as reporters from other outlets spent Monday investigating. But the allegation fell apart Monday night, when Kelly issued a statement saying that he was never assaulted and had been set up. He said Tuesday he wanted to help President Donald Trump but ended up “roped into a Jussie Smollett-esque situation” by Wohl and Burkman, who have spread conspiracies and unverified or false allegations against other public figures.
Wohl said Kelly contacted him first and Burkman says he believes Kelly's story is “accurate and true.”
Whichever side you believe, many experts believe it is the type of disinformation campaign that will ratchet up come next year as the Presidential race heats up.