Labor Dept. Official Reportedly Being Reinstated After Resignation Over Report on Sarcastic FB Post


You may remember that yesterday, a Trump Labor Department official resigned following an inquiry from Bloomberg Law on a pretty clearly sarcastic Facebook post.

In 2016 Leif Olson posted a highly tongue-in-cheek message about Paul Ryan‘s massive primary victory over Paul Nehlen, mocking anti-Semitism as opposed to actually engaging in it.

The Bloomberg Law report yesterday — which as of this posting still features the headline “News
Trump Labor Aide Quits After Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts Surface” — has been heavily criticized for the characterization of a joking post.

The report features a comment from Olson saying his post was sarcasm. An initial condemnation from the ADL provided to Bloomberg Law was essentially withdrawn and replaced with a new statement saying, “We appreciate Mr. Olson’s clarification that he intended to be sarcastic with his posts, and accept his explanation of the content in question.”

And tonight, the Daily Caller broke news that Olson has been officially reinstated at Labor:

A senior Labor Department official told the DCNF that “the acting secretary personally made this decision after carefully reviewing all the facts and circumstances. He concluded that a correction is much better than an injustice”…

“On Friday, August 30, 2019, senior policy advisor of the Wage and Hour Division Leif Olson offered his resignation and the department accepted,” the department said in a statement to the DCNF. “Following a thorough reexamination of the available information and upon reflection, the department has concluded that Olson has satisfactorily explained the tone and content of his sarcastic social media post and will return to his position.”

After the widespread criticism of the report yesterday, Bloomberg ended up standing by it in a statement to CNN, saying, “We stand behind our reporting. We contacted the White House and the Department of Labor asking for comment on Mr. Olson’s Facebook posts. Within four hours, the Department of Labor responded that Mr. Olson had resigned.”

[photo via Alastair Pike / AFP / Getty Images]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac