In the wild-ride of a confusing and highly bizarre story that involves a white Republican politician allegedly accidentally claiming to be a “gay Black man” on Twitter.
Here is what we know so far...
Dean Browning, a former Republican congressional candidate from Pennsylvania, bewildered just about everyone on Tuesday when he replied to his own tweet claiming to be a gay Black man who voted for President Donald Trump.
Browning is in fact a white man, who describes himself in his Twitter bio as a “proud pro-life & pro-2A Christian conservative”. So how did this happen?
Last week Browning tweeted, “What Trump built in 4 years, Biden will destroy in 4 months”. Then, on Tuesday, when another user argued against this sentiment, Browning mysteriously wrote:
“I’m a black gay guy and I can personally say that Obama did nothing for me, my life only changed a little bit and it was for the worse,” he wrote. “Everything is so much better under Trump though. I feel respected — which I never do when democrats are involved.”
After an initial moment of complete confusion, a second glance at the situation seemed to make things a bit more clear. Most people on Twitter assumed Browning was the owner of multiple Twitter accounts and had accidentally posted this reply from his main account (known as “sockpuppeting”).
Browning seemed to be ignorant of what was going on, as the post was left up for several hours before he eventually deleted it. He called the whole thing a misunderstanding:
“Regarding the tweet that is going viral from my account — I was quoting a message that I received earlier this week from a follower,” he wrote. “Sorry if context was not clear. Trump received record minority votes & record LGBTQ votes. Many people won’t say it vocally, but do in private.”
But... things didn’t end there.
In another twist, Washington Post journalist Philip Bump noticed something strange. “You know who replies to Dean Browning a lot? ‘Dan Purdy,’ a gay black Trump supporter who joined Twitter in October,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
@DanPurdy322 is a now-suspended account with an avatar of a cartoon of a Black man wearing a beanie with a Trump 2020 logo. People immediately noticed, the account had a history of posting extremely racist and sexist posts.
But there’s more!
Later @DanPurdy322 posted a video of a Black man claiming to be Purdy himself. “I sent that message to Dean, Dean accidentally posted it somehow, that’s the end of the story,” he said. “No, he’s not a sock puppet. No, I’m not a bot.” People in the deleted video accused him of being a paid actor.
What is happening??
Don't worry, we’re just as confused as you are, and will update on any new info.