Surefire Intelligence!

Tom has given us one of today’s gems of humor, and I want to share the other one. There are far, far more tweets than I can possibly include here, but I will try to indicate the range and depth of incompetence, which is truly monumental.

First, a narrative account for those of you who prefer such things.

At the center of the scheme is publicity-hungry Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman, who has repeatedly dabbled in internet conspiracy theories in the past, including promoting the idea that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was killed by deep-state government operatives.


Burkman has not any offered any evidence at all of his accusations and his previous “bombshell” press conferences on other stories have become notorious flops in Washington media circles.


Burkman’s latest gambit has far higher stakes than his previous ones; but it too seems similarly bound for self-destruction. Allegations that he was offering to pay women to accuse Mueller come from an uncorroborated email sent to a number of media outlets, including The Daily Beast, by a person who identified herself as Florida resident “Lorraine Parsons.”

In her emails, Parsons claimed that Burkman and his associates were pressuring her to “make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller” and to “sign a sworn affidavit to that effect.” In exchange, she said, they were offering tens of thousands of dollars. Parsons repeatedly declined to talk to The Daily Beast on the phone, and internet searches have failed to provide any background on her. Parsons didn’t respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.


Jacob Wohl, a right wing Twitter personality and a self-described friend of Burkman, said Burkman had told him he had hired Matthew Cohen, who is a managing partner at the private investigations company Surefire Intelligence, to assist with the investigation.

Surefire is a bit of a mystery. Since-deleted Craigslist advertisements for the company said it “was founded by two members of Israel’s elite intelligence community.” The ads billed services including “counter intelligence,” “private spies,” and “ethical hackers.”

More amusing details at the link. And yet more on Twitter. Stuff is being deleted (although I’m sure copies exist), which Popehat earlier pointed out could be destroying evidence in an FBI investigation.

Bellingcat is ON IT! (disclosure: I have worked with Bellingcat and occasionally write articles for them.)

Popehat and other lawyers are yukking it up.

A friend said this has been the best day he’s seen on Twitter for a while.

92 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I had a little fun with this too, but I’ll admit that a part of me thinks we shouldn’t take this so casually just because they were incompetent this time.

    Sorry if I’m being a downer.

  2. 2

    And kudos to Kay (not the front-pager) for naming it the Dunning-Krueger Putsch.

  3. 3
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Surefire Intelligence? More like Backfire Intelligence. Thank you.

  4. 4

    @Baud: I’m sure they’ll try again, but part of what is happening is that they’ve run these plays so many times they are easy to figure out. Also, too, I saw a suggestion on Twitter that young Jacob is what we might call a second-generation Fox listener and has lived his whole life inside the rightwing bubble, where things work differently than they do in real life. Part of it is also that they are trying to manufacture an October surprise, but this surprise on them is crowding out Trump’s sending troops to the border, as is Trump’s visit to Pittsburgh, which is also not going so well for Trump.

    So we can enjoy this but remain vigilant.

  5. 5
    Ian G. says:

    I’m glad the Coen Brothers already made “Burn After Reading” because it would be impossible to make a satire like that again after this. This is amateur hour even by the standards of the amateur con artists who gather around Trump like flies to shit.

  6. 6
    guachi says:

    Saw over at LGF that the day Mueller was supposed to have assaulted someone he was in jury duty (rejected in voir dire).

  7. 7
    SRW1 says:

    Surefire Intelligence?

    Cause Ratfucking Intelligence was already taken?

  8. 8
    ruemara says:

    @Ian G.: I said it read like a bad sequel.

  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Baud: You are, Go have a cocktail or two and come back later.

  10. 10
    smintheus says:

    One assumes that Surefire Intelligence Investigator “Donald Treehorn” is related to Jeff Lebowski’s buddy Jackie Treehorn.

  11. 11
    debbie says:


    By the time they work their way up to competent, Trump will be long gone.

  12. 12
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Isn’t there supposed to be a third (fourth?) layer in this shit sandwich? I thought, based on the little I’ve read here and elsewhere, that the ultimate con was supposed to be that media gullibly reports that someone is paying (possibly non-existent) women to make stuff up about Mueller, and then Wohl/Burkman/whoever leaps out of the bushes and yells, “Ha! Gotcha, libtard journalists! I made up that entire story and you fell for it! Now no one can trust you EVAH!” With the diabolically clever side benefit that Mueller is somehow smeared in the public’s view by being vaguely associated with sexual misconduct.

    I may be giving this dumbass way too much credit. It does sound like something Roger Stone would be at the back of somewhere, though.

  13. 13


    I’ll admit that a part of me thinks we shouldn’t take this so casually just because they were incompetent this time.

    I think, though, that part of what this shows is that faking this stuff convincingly is actually really hard. You look at the success of somebody like Sacha Baron Cohen and think it must be easy to fool people with fake companies, but it isn’t as easy as it looks. SBC doesn’t have to fool everyone; he just has to fool enough people to give his show some material. In contrast somebody trying to frame Mueller has to fool everyone, since just one reporter figuring out something is fishy will be enough to unmask the whole operation. And those reporters are going to put a lot more effort into figuring out what’s going on than somebody’s publicist trying to figure out if they should arrange a meeting.

  14. 14
    GregB says:

    Jacob, what an ass-Wohl.

    Let this be the beginning of the Trump shit maelstorm that swirls every last on of his associated grifters, shitheels and four-flushers down into the bowels of the earth where they belong.

  15. 15

  16. 16
    JaySinWA says:

    Odd. Jacob Wohl says he doesn’t know nuttin’ about Surefire Intelligence, the firm tied to the bizarre Mueller allegations. Take a look at the photos below of Mathhew Cohen, head of ‘Surefire,’ and of Jacob Wohl.

    It’s a frame I tells you, a dirty rotten frame job. //

  17. 17
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Holy cow, that’s perfect.

  18. 18
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Cartoon villians. Who Framed Robert Mueller?

    To the Dip with them.

    ETA: What, Jessica Rabbit wasn’t available?

  19. 19

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: The didn’t seem to take into account that Mueller has the FBI on speed dial(being a former director and all).

  20. 20
    Mary G says:

    I mostly know Wohl because he replies first or nearly first to Twitler’s tweets. Also on Twitter, he is always posting that he was in a hipster coffee shop in LA and all the liberals are terrified or secretly Trump supporters. So there are a number of Tweets that start with that today.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    chopper says:

    this is “mr. burns with a fake mustache”-level garbage, here.

    hello, my name is mister…snrub.

  23. 23

    @Mary G: He may have to give up those hipster coffee shops for a stay at the Greybar Hotel.

  24. 24

    @chopper: …or the guy in New York who used to call the media saying he was John Barron.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The minute Jacob tells the FBI he’s not Matthew Cohen (Jane Meyers’ tweet) he’s going to prison.

  26. 26
    JaySinWA says:

    @JaySinWA: Actually though, given the wheels within wheels stuff we already see, faking setting up Wohl could be part of the plot. Like a not so criminal mastermind’s idea of a criminal mastermind plot. It was a pretty transparent link to Wohl.

  27. 27
    Raoul says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Indeed.

    Of course, as has been said (including here by Baud), we’re so far kind of lucking out that these people are so freakin incompetent. But the myriad weaknesses in our system of governance will outlast Trump (I think). And one party will still have zero incentive to fix any of the glaring holes (the GOP, in case there is a Wohl-level reader here who needs that spelled out).

    So we’ll be vulnerable to a demagogic authoritarian after we pass this reign of dumpster flames.

  28. 28
    Ken Shabby says:


    Stepping on their dick.

    “That’s not my dick. Know why? I sold it. I don’t have one. I never had one.”





    “Either Jesus or my wife’s family has it.”

    “A kangaroo ate it on the Appalachian trail.”

    “My son ate it during one of them goddamn vid yo gaymes.”

  29. 29
    C Stars says:

    You know, it’s funny, but on Fox/Infowars/under whatever fucking rock you turn over from now on, morons who vote are going to be asserting, with utmost confidence, that Mueller commits sex crimes. The gullible idiots aren’t going to be checking these hilarious twitter accounts, they’re just going to hug their Trump U. certificates and AR-15s a little tighter, terrified and titillated in their “knowledge” that All Democrats* Are Evil And Out To Get Our Lord & Savior Trump.

    Or maybe I am just in a dark mood today…

    *And fancy-lawyer-type Republicans named Mueller

  30. 30
    Mary G says:

    George Conway (Mr. Kellyanne) and Neal Katyal have put up a joint piece in WaPo that says the president is a moron. Well, not in so many words, but they are clear that he cannot erase birthright citizenship with an executive order.

    The fact that the two of us, one a conservative and the other a liberal, agree on this much despite our sharp policy differences underscores something it is critically important to remember during a time marked by so much rancor and uncivil discourse: Our Constitution is a bipartisan document, designed to endure for ages. Its words have meaning that cannot be wished away.

    George seems to be running out of fucks left to give for his wife’s boss.

  31. 31
    lgerard says:

    Earlier today we were given information on accusations against former FBI Director Robert Mueller.We took the documents down and we are currently investigating these accusations.There are also very serious allegations against Jacob Wohl.We are also looking into this.— Jim Hoft (@gatewaypundit) October 30, 2018

    How many times has Hoft written type of post in the past?

    he must have an easy to use template

  32. 32
    cmorenc says:

    As a would-be political scammer, Jack Burkman makes James O’Keefe look smart and successful by comparison (a really low bar to exceed), and O’Keefe did pull off one successful scam before he then tried to disastrously scam his way into then-Sen Mary Landrieu’s office.

  33. 33
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mary G: Neal Katyal is a liberal? When did that happen?

  34. 34
    Ken Shabby says:

    @Adam L Silverman:


    Those Nice People and their Cotillions. Drat and Fuck.

  35. 35
    chopper says:

    these guys fucked up with a focus and intensity normally seen only in successes. this is some grade-A dick stepping.

  36. 36
    debbie says:


    If this fellow Wohl had a lawyer they would cut the electricity to his house.

  37. 37
    Ken Shabby says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    With pinwheels and urine pants.

    All those nice patruts, wanting only The Very Best for all of us.

  38. 38
    Thoughtful David says:

    I saw that the woman who reported it to the FBI mentioned that they had offered to pay off her credit card and that they knew to the dollar how much she owed on her credit card. Who would be able to get that kind of information?

    So I offer this conspiracy piece: The NY office of the FBI is in on it. They could (illegally but readily) get their hand on her credit card information. And they have a lot to fear from Mueller.

    No, I don’t believe this. They’re too damned incompetent to have been anyone professional.

    It would be irrational not to speculate.

  39. 39
    Mary G says:

    Gateway Pundit, which published the Jacob Wohl-backed dossier filled with wild accusations about Mueller, is back-pedaling fast. They've taken down the file and are now trying to claim Mueller making a criminal referral to the FBI is an abuse of government power.— Will Sommer (@willsommer) October 30, 2018

  40. 40
    Schlemazel says:

    no, you are exactly right. This is pretty much the operation they used to bring down Franken with Roger Stone hinting days in advance about what would happen. They are trying to destroy democracy and just happen to be destroying women who were legitimately assaulted as an ‘added benefit’

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    Might as well laugh about it, because what is both horrifying and pathetic is how far these nut jobs will go to protect and help Trump. He would never do the same for them.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: His father is a lawyer and a major Trump campaign surrogate. And Jacob lives at home.

  43. 43
    Schlemazel says:

    @Thoughtful David:
    the NY office of the FBI is totally compromised by the Russian mafia. It is entirely possible

  44. 44
    Ken Shabby says:

    Pee Ess/

    Bob Mueller, Secks Machine.

    Cold Sweat – Hit it:

    Bob Mueller, all time, swingin’

    That man, THAT man.

  45. 45
    JaySinWA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Given his father’s moronic defence in his hedge fund ponzi scheme, he should get a better lawyer.

  46. 46
    Mike in DC says:

    Rhymes with “Buster Duck”. You really have to work hard to achieve that level of stupidity.

  47. 47
    Ken Shabby says:

    GOP: takin care o bidness.

    That’s America.

    “ I don’t care, about your past. I just want, our love to last.”

    I break out

    In a tax break

    Ughn ughn ughn

    This is what Makes America Strong Again

  48. 48
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Love the last tweet of Biden and President Obama having a good laugh. Hopefully our side will be laughing and celebrating next Tuesday night. Trump’s presidency feels as if it’s in its second decade.

  49. 49

  50. 50
    piratedan says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: there are LOTS of layers in this here shit sandwich, apparently there’s a whole lotta white bread, and I’m pretty sure that there may be some non Hellman’s Mayo and lots of American Cheese too (plastic wrappers optional depending on your taste).

    I guess this is the minor leagues ratfucking Rookie Ball when compared to O’Keefe’s AA Project Veritas….

  51. 51
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Will Junior be grounded?

  52. 52
    suffragettecity says:

    Not only was Mueller in jury duty on the date they allege but his Suite on the 19th floor of the St. Regis is actually where the gym is located.
    Google could have been their friend, but noooooooooooooo

  53. 53
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Thoughtful David: I’m sure Mueller and the FBI as a while will figure that all out. Wohl bit off way more than he could chew.

  54. 54


    The homocon fake news site Gateway Pundit tonight deleted their typically bombastic post from earlier today, which had been headlined this way:

    **EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTS** : Special Counsel and Former FBI Director Robert Mueller Accused of Rape By ‘Very Credible Witness ‘ —MUCH MORE TO COME #BelieveAllWomen.

    In that post’s place, under its original URL, is this message:

    Earlier today we were given information on accusations against former FBI Director Robert Mueller. We took the documents down and we are currently investigating these accusations. There are also very serious allegations against Jacob Wohl. We are also looking into this. There is still a press conference scheduled for Thursday at noon in Washington DC.

    Earlier today, I wrote, “If this were a Law & Order episode, this would be the part where the DA leans on Gateway Pundit to flip on Jacob Wohl and save his neck.”

  55. 55

    @Thoughtful David:

    I saw that the woman who reported it to the FBI mentioned that they had offered to pay off her credit card and that they knew to the dollar how much she owed on her credit card. Who would be able to get that kind of information?

    It’s not obvious that there actually is a woman. We don’t know a huge amount about the whole thing yet, but one of the things I’ve gotten is that the “woman” making these claims corresponded exclusively by email and refused in-person interviews. Some of the reporters who were teased with the story thought it was not about trying to get Mueller but to make the reporters reporting on the story look like idiots. We need to view all the information associated with this thing with this thing with great skepticism.

  56. 56
    The Moar You Know says:

    If I were this incompetent I’d still be living at home with my moth…oh wait.

  57. 57
    Aleta says:

    Jacob Wohl @JacobAWohl
    26m26 minutes ago
    Believe all women.

    Aw thanks Jake!

  58. 58
    Barbara says:

    @Roger Moore: Or the woman was told by the FBI not to talk to the press or a woman was paid to provide a false story. Anyway I look at it, it makes me furious that they expected to plant false stories and get away with it.

  59. 59
    Schlemazel says:

    damaging women is just a lucky collateral win for them

  60. 60
    Ken Shabby says:

    Robert Mueller: hotter and, more explicit than The Incredible Mr. Limpet.

    Bobby Three Sticks, Sex God.

    Fifty Shades of Jesus.

    Lindsay Graham: I Was Bob Mueller’s Towell Attendant.

    GOP. We’ve talked with Jesus, and, we know who he wants for a Man Date.

    Jesus. If we were meant to have secks, Bobby M. Woulda got off months ago.

    Bobby: Sequel To Rudy – Bobby Goes To Notre Dame But, lands in the shower at Penn State.

    Make America Grate Again.

    Pee Ess:

  61. 61
    The Moar You Know says:

    I saw that the woman who reported it to the FBI mentioned that they had offered to pay off her credit card and that they knew to the dollar how much she owed on her credit card. Who would be able to get that kind of information?

    @Thoughtful David: I can do it in five minutes with a first name, last name, city and state. It would probably take you twenty tops if you haven’t done it before. Just run a credit report and you have the current balance.

    It’s technically not legal since you don’t have a legitimate or authorized use for that info, but nobody gives a shit, least of all the credit companies.

  62. 62
    Ken Shabby says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Preponderance of Insane, Violent, Morons, with Daddy Issues.

    If that’s not a Quorum, I don’t know what is –

  63. 63
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: Scheduling a time and place for that is good – it makes it simpler for the FBI to arrest these bozos.

  64. 64


    Not only was Mueller in jury duty on the date they allege but his Suite on the 19th floor of the St. Regis is actually where the gym is located.

    This kind of mistake makes me wonder if this really was an attempt to set up the media rather than Mueller. In that scenario, leaving in basic, easy to check factual errors would be part of the plan; when the media fell for it, you could use their inability to catch those mistakes as proof of their unwillingness to check even the most basic facts. Of course the media actually does check their facts, so the whole scheme failed, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the plan.

  65. 65
    lgerard says:

    Who would be able to get that kind of information?

    Rachel from cardholders service

  66. 66
    dm says:

    I’m guessing we’ll soon be hearing about how this was a false flag operation set up by liberals to innoculate Mueller from the *real* charges coming down the line, and to smear a Fine Young Man, Ruining His Life by making him look incompetent.

  67. 67

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s not obvious that there actually is a woman.

    With this group of probable incels, the chances that there’s a woman is slim.

  68. 68
    Jay says:


    Deepak from Cardholder Services and Sales.

  69. 69
    Steve in the ATL says:


    I’m pretty sure that there may be some non Hellman’s Mayo

    David Duke’s?

  70. 70
    Timurid says:


    Have you checked the crawlspace and the compost heap yet?

  71. 71
  72. 72
    H.E.Wolf says:

    Yes please to a rendezvous while you’re in town. I’ll ask Anne Laurie to make my contact info available to you if you check in with her via email..

  73. 73
    Ken Shabby says:

    One look at Bobbers Three, blatant conclusion:

    A Total Show Pony, A Slave To Loose, Unchristian Women, a Blatantly Indiscrete Disappointment To The Shining City On A Hill, a Walking Sex Addiction and, a Person Begging For Help, In the Broad Light of Day, God’s Good Light and, The Constytyewshin.

    All Americans see this, at the glance and, well – it’s Troubling.

    I think we all want chastity in our best people, as God intended.

    Bob….May be….Sweaty. And, this is why Christ offers His hand as The Redeemer.

    Thank God for the GOP and, their courage.

    Bob may not be able to help himself – the flesh is weak – but, that’s why Jesus came for all of us.

  74. 74
    Gvg says:

    I don’t get the references to Mueller in Jury duty or a gym. The “woman” in the story I read indicated she worked with Mueller back in the 70’s. The impression is the accusation was supposed to be misbehavior over time. Really odd story idea of something so long ago. So that isn’t a specific date and time and I really doubt jury duty records get kept that long ago.
    There must be some other version of the story I haven’t heard.
    No employee matching the name wouldn’t mean anything that long ago. She could have married and changed her name 3 times by now. Where is the story I missed?

  75. 75
    Aleta says:

    @Schlemazel: I bet it doesn’t even cross their mind to include protection in their offer, beyond monitoring the woman’s words to the press to protect themselves.

  76. 76
    Jay says:


    “Where is the story I missed?”

    All of it.

  77. 77
    lgerard says:


    I don’t get the references to Mueller in Jury duty or a gym

    The story on Gateway Pundit included a “report” by Wohl’s fake investigative agency. The “report” detailed a supposed sexual assault that took place in Mueller’s 19th floor room at the St Regis Hotel in NYC on April 2, 2010.


    Mueller was in DC that day for jury duty, as reported by The Washington Post at the time.
    The 19th floor is occupied by a gym, not rooms

    yeah I’m obsessed…..I’m a big Wohl fan

  78. 78
    Jeffro says:

    @debbie: I saw that one earlier and LOL’d. Twitter Dick Nixon, the pause that refreshes…

  79. 79
    Platonailedit says:

    @C Stars: The trumpturds will stick with the totus, so?

  80. 80
    SFAW says:


    he must have an easy to use template

    NOTHING is “easy to use” for The Stupidest Man on the Internet.

  81. 81
    Aleta says:

    @Baud: The seriousness is probably not far from anyone’s mind, and the laughter not far from the anger. I guess you could have said the same about laughing at Assange (who did succeed in harming H and us). Or about T’s iPhone being accessible to the Chinese, or even about laughing at those -duh people whose low intelligence or brain damage caused accidents that hurt them but could have harmed others.

  82. 82
    AnotherBruce says:

    Shitfire intelligence.

  83. 83
    JMG says:

    This story is pure awesomeness. No, it’s not important. No, it doesn’t ease the deadly danger to constitutional democracy. But sometimes a great story is just a great story and should be appreciated as such. He used a stock photo of Christopher Waltz!!! Com’ on, even Mueller’s gotta be laughing.

  84. 84
    patrick II says:

    I agree. I’m not that amused. I think they have gotten away with dishonest personal attacks they got overconfident. This would not be the only republican personal attack that was proved to be untrue. A big difference this time is that is against Mueller and moves past normal political dirty tricks and into obstruction of justice.

  85. 85
    Schlemazel says:

    PROTECTION? Ha! Real men don’t use protection!

    Seriously they don’t care about the woman, she is just a tool & if she gets busted thats OK because that means a woman got caught lying about assault so they win. Plus many of the MAGAts will just know she was flipped by the deep state and fake news

  86. 86
  87. 87
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @patrick II:

    I think that the only thing the Republican ratfuckers heard from MeToo was, “Believe Women”.

    A flashbulb went off in their tiny brains and they thought, all we have to do is pay some women to trash anybody we hate and the libtards will automatically believe it and throw them under the bus.

    The problem was that they are so trapped in their fantasy worlds they can no longer distinguish between the credible and the risible.

  88. 88
    StringOnAStick says:

    This kids little game might get him the sort of serious punishment that he should have gotten when his hedge fund/ponzi scheme got him banned for life from the financial sector. Yet another blazing example of letting white collar criminals get off far, far too easily. It’s also a great example of how being raised in the FOX hothouse produces poor reality testing skills.

  89. 89

    @lgerard: Many, but this may be the first time he’s admitted a problem w/ something he’s run rather than just deleting the incorrect item.

  90. 90
    Ken says:


    With this group of probable incels, the chances that there’s a woman is slim.

    Nuh-huh! There’s totally a woman. She’s… a hot Canadian supermodel!

  91. 91
    r€nato says:

    maybe this is where Wohl got the idea to impeach an ex-president.

  92. 92

    Surefire Intelligence’s “Tel Aviv Station Chief” is an Israeli supermodel.
    Surefire’s official phone number redirects to a voicemail box registered to Jacob’s mom.

    You fools! Now look what you’ve done! You’ve blown their covers!

    Actually, this strikes me as another variant of the puke funnel, though laughably, horribly wrong in it’s intent and execution. Would a voter in this atmosphere change voting patterns because of (an) accusation(s) against Mueller? Methinks not.

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