Earlier this week, after her appearance at the pro-Trump gala on Saturday stirred plenty of controversy, a photo emerged of Chelsea Manning participating in an “Escape the Room” in Washington with far-right conspiracy theorists Cassandra Fairbanks and Jack Posobiec. Originally unearthed by reporter Yashar Ali, the photo helped cast doubt on Manning’s claims that she had simply “crashed” the party in order to “gather intel.”
But the fallout from the photo doesn’t appear limited to Manning.
As ThinkProgress tracked down, the photo remains publicly available on the Facebook page of “Escape the Room DC.” Indeed, there are actually two photos on the Facebook page that show Manning smiling alongside the rest of the group.
While many of the figures are easily identifiable — in addition to Fairbanks and Posobiec, Lucian Wintrich of the far-right conspiracy site Gateway Pundit is also present — one man, with a salt-pepper beard and receding hairline, remained unknown. According to the photo, he’s tagged as “Jack Murphy aka John Goldman.”
“Murphy,” as it is, maintains a relatively prominent Twitter presence within the so-called “New Right.” He also maintains a website where, in a post earlier this week, he admits being in the photo alongside Manning.
However, “Murphy” doesn’t appear to be his real name. In an interview with WAMU, “Murphy” admitted that he is, indeed, Goldman, adding that he “love[s] everyone.”
As Goldman wrote on his “Jack Murphy” site, “Because various political advocates were upset that Chelsea Manning appeared with Trump supporters, they investigated and discovered my identity for the express purpose of a public shaming.” Goldman, who didn’t respond to ThinkProgress’s questions, also admitted that he worked for the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB), which had placed him on “administrative leave pending an investigation.”
According to the DCPCSB website, Goldman currently works as a senior manager with the organization, and is “responsible for financial oversight of all the public charter schools in Washington, D.C.” Goldman’s LinkedIn profile says that he’s worked with the DCPCSB since September, while his website describes himself as a “charter school expert.”
When contacted, DCPCSB issued a statement to ThinkProgress noting that they were “aware of the allegations made this evening against an employee of DCPCSB. We take these issues seriously and are investigating the matter.” DCPCSB would neither confirm nor deny that Goldman was the individual in question, but DCPCSB Spokesperson Tomeika Bowden told ThinkProgress that the employee’s “administrative leave started on Monday night. We actually started getting tweets and things on Monday night.”
Goldman, via his “Murphy” Twitter feed, has spent much of the past day on Twitter denying accusations that he is a white supremacist; indeed, there is no evidence that “Murphy” carries or espouses any white supremacist beliefs. He also claims he’s suffering from “political persecution.”
However, a brief glance through his Twitter feed shows any number of slurs against women and undocumented immigrants alike.
Not only did “Murphy” call Hillary Clinton a “bitch,” but has told others to “Go lick lesbo pussy in peace.” Another tweet from “Murphy” said that “Fat girls have ruined ‘curvy’ forever. Bitch, just say you’re fat. There are men who want (will stoop) to fuck you,” while another wondered when he could “get som[e] @RickRubin type pussy with this beard.” One Tweet from last year also read: “What have we learned lately? Illegals don’t rape kids: FALSE[.]”
The writings from Goldman on his “Jack Murphy” site were hardly any better. In one post, since deleted from his website, Goldman wrote that “Feminists need rape. … It is our duty as men to save feminists from themselves. Therefore, I am offering rape to feminists as an olive branch.” Another post, also deleted, claimed that “If you open her ass, you open her mind.” And one post on a Medium account affiliated with the “Jack Murphy” Twitter account also wondered if it’s “worth educating, protecting, and defending illegal immigrants if it means our daughters will be raped while they are at school?”
As it is, “Murphy” claims that the photo originally unearthed by Ali was a “private photo of me and [Manning.]” That, of course, isn’t true — just as it’s true that Manning no longer appears to be the only person embroiled in controversy from a night at “Escape the Room.”