Ousted USAID Trump Appointee Teaming Up With Right-Wing Hoaxers Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman

Right-wing political operatives Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl pitch reporters their latest far-fetched scandal on a balcony outside the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 27, 2020. (Photo: Jared Holt)

Merritt Corrigan, former deputy White House liaison at the U.S. Agency for International Development, plans to air her workplace grievances, claiming “anti-Christian sentiment at USAID,” at a press event with right-wing hoaxsters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman ​Thursday.

Politico reported Monday that Corrigan was fired from USAID after a short career with the agency punctuated with calls for her removal​ for her vehement anti-LGBTQ​ behavior. ​Prior to USAID, Corrigan was a political liaison at Hungary’s U.S. embassy who had tweeted “our homo-empire couldn’t tolerate even one commercial enterprise not in full submission to the tyrannical LGBT agenda,” Politico’s Brussels Playbook reported. CNN’s KFILE reported that additional comments made by Corrigan contained “inflammatory rhetoric aimed at refugees, the LGBTQ community and women.”

ProPublica reported that the Trump administration appointed Corrigan to her role at USAID in June. USAID’s acting administrator John Barsa fired Corrigan Monday and received no pushback from the White House when he informed the administration of his decision, according to Politico.

Later that day, Corrigan posted on her Twitter account that she would be hosting a press conference with Wohl and Burkman’s “1599 Project” to discuss what she says is “the rampant anti-Christian sentiment at USAID.”  The 1599 Project is what Burkman and Wohl have dubbed their ongoing series of blundering press conference​s—the title is a play on the New York Times’ “1619 Project” ​and the address number of Burkman’s Arlington, Virginia, residence where the duo often present their dubious claims to reporters gathered in Burkman’s driveway.

(Screenshot / Twitter)

Wohl and Burkman have long peddled conspiracy theories and orchestrated schemes to smear their targets. The two right-wing provocateurs tried to pay a woman to claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci had assaulted her. They pulled the same stunt against special counsel Robert Mueller and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. After the death of George Floyd, the two claimed to have created a fund, supposedly seeded with $25,000, to pay the legal defense fees of the police officer who killed Floyd, Derek Chauvin.

A later tweet made clear that Corrigan knew exactly who she was dealing with, mentioning Burkman and Wohl by name. Additionally, Corrigan gave an exclusive interview to National File, a far-right conspiracy theory outlet closely affiliated with ​conspiracy monger Alex Jones’ Infowars.

(Screenshot / Twitter)

It is unclear what “ant​i-Christian” sentiment Corrigan plans to allege, especially since USAID often works with Christian organizations to carry out humanitarian and relief efforts around the world and has an dedicated office for fostering relationships with faith-based and community organizations.

Corrigan was on the payroll of the Republican National Committee ​from 2016 ​to 2018. At the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference, she was photographed by Reuters manning a Trump campaign merchandise booth.