UPDATE: The maybe-possibly-definitely FBI Director James Comey has locked down the Twitter account @projectexile7, but not before tweeting the following image with a link to fbijobs.gov.
True investigative reporting manifests itself in myriad ways. From Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s “All the President’s Men,” to Netflix’s “Making of a Murderer,” wherever there is a curious mind with the will and fortitude to solve life’s most perplexing puzzles, there is magic to be made.
Gizmodo reporter Ashley Feinberg on Thursday proved just that, providing a compelling and exhaustive account of how she found FBI Director James Comey’s social media presence through her unparalleled investigative skills.
As Feinberg writes, Comey—whose bombshell letter last October is “almost certainly” the reason our current president can’t spell “tap”—spoke at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance leadership dinner on Wednesday, where he revealed he has a top-secret Twitter and Instagram account.
— Kevin Rincon (@KevRincon) March 30, 2017
Comey told the attendees that he got into Twitter after his daughter showed him a tweet that read, “Comey is such a political hack, I just can’t figure out which party.”
“That is the greatest compliment,” Comey added, proving that even FBI directors seek validation through Twitter mentions.
This statement by Comey was all the Gizmodo reporter needed to begin her search. Having found Comey’s son, Brien Comey, through an extensive search on Twitter, she was able to locate his son’s Instagram. This unveiled the FBI director’s pseudonym, Reinhold Niebuhr, based off the American theologian Comey apparently wrote his senior thesis on.
Through some more digging, Feinberg was able to land on Comey’s Twitter handle, @projectexile7, the least-covert covert name ever. Feinberg also chronicled some the FBI director’s Twitter interests and engagements, including the fact that he “liked” a New York Times article about Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn’s meeting with Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak. So stealth.
Read Feinberg’s impressive account of how she found Comey’s social media accounts, and scroll below to see how some of the nation’s top journalists feel about missing out on the scoop of the century.
James Comey is literally a Twitter egg. https://t.co/qHXoBBJCys— Philip Bump (@Philip Bump) 1490902493.0
Some genius level internet sleuthing right here https://t.co/uht8lZoSDz— Trevor Timm (@Trevor Timm) 1490902978.0
Currently imagining a very perplexed James Comey wondering why his phone is blowing up with thousands of follow notifications.— Trevor Timm (@Trevor Timm) 1490903606.0
This is truly GENIUS detective work by @ashleyfeinberg. “This Is Almost Certainly James Comey’s Twitter Account” https://t.co/CyTvSb2GS9— Bradd Jaffy (@Bradd Jaffy) 1490903572.0
This is absolutely wild: @ashleyfeinberg appears to have found Jim Comey’s secret Twitter account. https://t.co/za9j7KsnWr— Dan Diamond (@Dan Diamond) 1490903325.0
This search 4 James Comey's Twitter account isn't going to get @ashleyfeinberg a Pulitzer. But it kinda sorta should https://t.co/naZPn2G6kO— Jarrett Bellini (@Jarrett Bellini) 1490904919.0
Congratulations to James Comey's secret Twitter account on its new job at Fusion— Ben Jacobs (@Ben Jacobs) 1490904151.0