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Blumenthal Twitter Sex Assault Allegation A Hoax

J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., was accused of sexual assault through what turned out to be a fictitious Twitter account.

An allegation on Twitter that Connecticut’s senior U.S. senator, Richard Blumenthal, sexually assaulted an intern 40 years ago has been proven to be a hoax.

Blumenthal commented on the incident on Monday, saying “Everything about this attack was phony and false. The Twitter attack was phony. The claims are lies. It was a malicious fiction from beginning to end.”

The hoax popped up on Twitter last week. First, the user claimed to be in Cheshire, Connecticut, but Cheshire was misspelled. Second, the photo of the user changed between two different women. One seemed to be a Linda Flores who lives in Texas. She tweeted that someone had stolen her picture and should not be believed. Another photo was of a human resources director at a company in Manchester, England. The hoax account has since been removed by Twitter. Blumenthal, a Democrat, says he and a Republican colleague, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, have co-sponsored a bill to try and curb such malicious use of social media platforms.

“I think Congress would be well-advised to take a serious look at what can be done to impose greater responsibility and accountability on the social media platforms.”

Blumenthal says his bill is currently making its way through the U.S. Senate and has already won unanimous approval from the Senate Commerce Committee.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.