Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey sparked 2020 rumors over the weekend after a post from his alleged Twitter account garnered attention.
What exactly happened?
A Twitter account, which is believed to be the account belonging to the ex-FBI chief, tweeted a picture of Iowa farmland and phrase presidential candidates often use.
Good to be back in Iowa. pic.twitter.com/TGJHOhQ9KF
— Reinhold Niebuhr (@FormerBu) October 21, 2017
Given Iowa’s significance in the primary race — it is the site of the first Republican and Democratic caucus — candidates spend a lot of time in Iowa, frequently traveling to The Hawkeye State from other early primary states. When they arrive back, they will typically tell Iowans at a rally that it’s “good to be back in Iowa.”
How did people in the Twittersphere respond?
He's running https://t.co/vi0dIRgetC
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 21, 2017
He's running!!!!! https://t.co/GfSYl0NsWD
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 21, 2017
He’s running! https://t.co/MSdD44aDkF
— Stefan Becket (@becket) October 21, 2017
Comey in the cornfields. Maybe he is buying some land there. He knows people are gonna need a lot of popcorn soon. pic.twitter.com/QILha4LymD
— Michael Cozzolino (@SlyCozzolino) October 21, 2017
— B?b Hens?n (@bdhenson) October 21, 2017
Wait — So how do we know the anonymous account belongs to Comey?
In March of this year, Ashley Feinberg, who at the time was a Gizmodo reporter, conducted a deep analysis into the account after Comey confirmed at a public event that he does, indeed, have private Twitter and Instagram accounts. Feinberg’s investigation is worth reading and all but confirms Comey is the owner of the account.
The account had been locked for several months after Feinberg’s exposé, but Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare, who is a close, longtime friend of Comey’s, said on Twitter last week that he had convinced the account’s owner to unlock it. Wittes, however, refuses to spill the beans on the owner’s identity.