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?

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...

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