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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Ex-State Dept. Official Says He Ran a Pro-Jewish Psyop on MAGA Supporters

'This is a red flag...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Trump-era State Department official Mike Benz was recently revealed to be a former member of the Proud Boys, who around 2016 spread racist and antisemitic views online under his pseudonym, Frame Game.

But according to Benz—who has since become one of the most prominent opponents to internet censorship—he was actually running a psychological operation on MAGA supporters.

“The account in question was a project by Jews to get people who hated Jews to stop hating Jews. It was a deradicalization project, and it produced deradicalization material,” Benz said earlier this month, responding to an NBC News hit piece about him.

“It made contact with groups in the early primordial soup of the MAGA movement in 2016 and sought to move people from a place of hate and division closer to a place of love and unity.”

Benz added that he would not repeat his deception again, though he said he’s proud of what he did.

“I would not participate today and do not endorse participating in something like this in a general sense,” he said.

“Having to move extreme elements from a fixation on identity to a focus on reforming institutions was a Bizarro World situation that called for a kind of Bizarro World logic of which I am proud, but would not repeat today.”

However, Benz’s disclosures have raised more questions about the true motives of a man who now serves as a source for Twitter Files journalists such as Michael Shellenberger, and who associates with high-profile personalities such as conservative broadcaster Tim Pool, FBI whistleblower Kyle Seraphin and others.

On Monday the Twitter account “Name Redacted” released more information on Benz, questioning whether he might be an agent provocateur. “Name Redacted” is an anonymous account, but has provided credible information in the past, and is often cited by the likes of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald.

The information released by Name Redacted shows that rather than deradicalizing potential antisemites in the MAGA movement, Benz’s rhetoric likely inflamed them. Numerous archived tweets and podcast appearances show Benz—acting anonymously as Frame Game—questioning the Holocaust and making statements such as, “Hitler actually had some decent points,” and, “The Holocaust did not start until 1967.”

Name Redacted further noted that Benz deleted his LinkedIn profile before joining Twitter under his real name in December 2022. His tenure at the State Department also raises questions about his background, according to Name Redacted.

“While he brags about being a ‘Cyber Expert’ & diplomat at State Department, records indicate he joined the State Department on November 24, 2020, & left 2-3 weeks, not even staying long enough for an official profile picture,” the anonymous Twitter account said.

“Benz held the title of ‘Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Communications and Information Policy’ at the State Department. Notably, this specific position neither existed before Benz’s appointment nor continued after his brief tenure,” the account said.

“This is a red flag.”

Benz has not responded to Name Redacted’s disclosures.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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