Eichenwald: My Trump Mental Hospital Accusation Was A Joke And A "Signal To A Source To Talk To Me"


ABC News: Newsweek senior writer Kurt Eichenwald speaks out on Good Morning America about his claim that he was targeted on Twitter for investigative reporting on Donald Trump and sent a message intended to cause a seizure. Eichenwald said the Twitter user inflicted "very serious injuries" via a tweet that had flashing lights.

"Unfortunately, I can't tell you what it looks like because if I see it and it's causing a problem, I don't remember it," Eichenwald told host Stephanopoulos. "But from what was described to me this was a multicolored strobe that was going at a speed that was designed to cause a seizure and it succeeded."

The Eichenwald-Twitter saga started when the Newsweek scribe claimed Donald Trump was a user of amphetamines and once spent time in a mental hospital in an appearance on FOX News Channel's Tucker Carlson Tonight last week. Eichenwald was pressed by Carlson to cite evidence backing his accusation however he was unable to and decided to filibuster the FNC host instead.

After the interview, Eichenwald received tweets including one that he claimed induced a seizure. He is now seeking litigation against the Twitter user "@jew_goldstein."

In his interview with George Stephanopoulos this morning Eichenwald said his accusation that Trump was in a mental hospital was really a way to respond, in a joking matter, to FOX News Channel's coverage of Hillary Clinton's health. Clinton was the 2016 Democratic nominee for president. However, he did say there was a "reporting purpose for that tweet going out." Eichenwald also said his joke, made on national cable news, was a "signal" to a source to contact him.

"I can't look at my Twitter feed anymore," the writer told Stephanopoulos. "Apparently a lot of people find this very funny. A lot of people who identify themselves as Trump supporters are loading up my Twitter feed with more strobes."

"It is amazing to me that, you know, simply because I'm a political reporter, simply because I write about, you know, Donald Trump, that we have become so sick and twisted in this country that people think they have, you know, the right and obligation to inflict potentially very serious injuries," Eichenwald said.

"Nothing can justify that," a supportive Stephanopoulos said.

"You have done a lot of tough reporting on Donald Trump. Your Twitter feed is filled with comments about Donald Trump as well. One of them was you once believed Donald Trump was institutionalized. You're laughing about that now. Any regrets about that?" the Good Morning America host asked.

"There's a long story behind it," Eichenwald began. "When you go through the full lead up to that tweet, there was a reporting purpose for that tweet going out. Which is more than you're going to want to hear about. I thought I was making fun of FOX News and the rest who were doing 'Hillary has seizures. Hillary has multiple sclerosis. Hillary has Parkinson's.' You know, 'Let's go to Dr. Oz.' So I was running a series of jokes leading up to that with the intent of sending that tweet which was a signal to a source to talk to me."

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