- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 23, 2020

CNN contributor Joe Lockhart remains unapologetic for a now-viral tweet about an overheard conversation between two Republican senators that he now claims was satire.

Mr. Lockhart, a former White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton, tweeted Wednesday during the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump: “Overheard convo between two Republican Senators who only watch Fox News. ‘is this stuff real? I haven’t heard any of this before. I thought it was all about a server. If half the stuff Schiff is saying is true, we’re up [expletive] creek. Hope the White House has exculpatory evidence.’”

The tweet remained active on Mr. Lockhart’s account as of Thursday afternoon and has been shared nearly 10,000 times and favorited nearly 40,000 times and counting. About 10 minutes and a couple of tweets after making the claim, Mr. Lockhart admitted to making up the story.

“Ok maybe I made up the convo, but you know that’s exactly what they’re thinking,” he wrote.

The admission sparked a wave of backlash against Mr. Lockhart, but he appeared unfazed.

“Everyone relax. This is satire,” he wrote. “Satire to make the point that Senators that are deciding the President’s fate who only watch Fox News have never heard this stuff before. Because Fox is part of the coverup.

“Sorry people thought this was real,” he replied to one user who suggested the invention of a sarcasm button. “Satire and sarcasm do help make these points though.”

“Seems like I poked the bear today,” Mr. Lockhart later tweeted. “The purveyors of Pizzagate and the Seth Rich conspiracy are lecturing me on honesty. I told a joke, you guys are a destructive joke that is killing our democracy. Other than that, hope you’re enjoying the trial and have a nice evening.”

He brought it up again Thursday morning.

“I have to say getting lectured by the Trump campaign and Breibart on the virtue of honesty is perhaps the funniest thing I’ve ever experienced,” he wrote. “And don’t get me going on plagiarist Benny Johnson..stop please..this is too funny.”

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