Legislative Aide to Md. Delegate Canned for Operating Anti-Clinton Fake News Site

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A screenshot of Cameron Harris’ most popular fabricated story, Courtesy Statehouse News Bureau

The mastermind of one fake news outlet that disseminated made-up stories about Hillary Clinton this fall was not a Russian spy or Macedonian mischief-maker; he was a recently graduated ex-college quarterback and fraternity leader worked for a Republican Maryland delegate.

The New York Times revealed yesterday that Cameron Harris, a 23-year-old legislative aide to Frederick County Del. David Vogt III, created the now-defunct ChristianTimesNewspaper.com. Writing fake stories about Clinton from his kitchen table, Harris pulled in an estimated $22,000 in web ad revenue, the Times reports.

Some of his best headlines quoted in the story:

“BREAKING: ‘Tens of thousands’ of fraudulent Clinton votes found in Ohio warehouse” – his best-performing story; “Hillary Clinton Blames Racism for Cincinnati Gorilla’s Death”; and “NYPD Looking to Press Charges Against Bill Clinton for Underage Sex Ring.”

Harris, a graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina, told the Times he spent most of the money he made on monthly bills. That’s unfortunate for him since he’s now out of a job. According to the Frederick News-Post, Vogt fired Harris on Wednesday shortly after reading the report.

“I’ve always thought Cameron was an intelligent young man that had a good future,” the Republican lawmaker told the newspaper. “I think this was a bad decision on his part. I hope he’ll recover from it, but I can’t support dishonesty in any way.”

Cameron issued an apology in a statement on Twitter yesterday:

Harris previously worked as Vogt’s campaign manager, according to the News-Post. On his Twitter account, he still describes himself as a “Campaign Manager” and “Comms. Consultant.” In this new political era, knows what’s next for Vogt’s former staffer?

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
Ethan McLeod
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