Campaign Manager Resigns Amid Twitter Controversy

A Twitter troll who spread false rumors about Hurricane Sandy resigned

ByABC News
October 31, 2012, 9:59 AM

Oct. 31, 2012— -- A Twitter troll who spread false rumors about the impact of Hurricane Sandy has resigned from his position as campaign manager for a New York congressional candidate.

Shashank Tripathi's resignation from Republican Christopher Wight's campaign will take effect immediately . Wight is running in New York's 12th congressional district for U.S. House.

Carlisle Williams, communications director for Wight, emailed the following statement.

"Today, Christopher Wight, candidate for New York's 12th Congressional district, accepted the resignation of Shashank Tripathi. Previously, Mr. Tripathi served on various New York congressional and local campaigns. This is a pivotal moment for voters of New York's 12th congressional district. The campaign looks forward to carrying on Christopher Wight's message of job creation in the days ahead."

Buzzfeed first identified Tripathi as the man behind the @ComfortablySmug twitter handle. He tweeted a number of false reports during Sandy, including that the New York Stock Exchange was flooded and that utility company ConEdison was preemptively shutting down power in all of Manhattan.

While other Twitter users immediately took him to task, some of his reports were widely disseminated before being debunked.

Tripathi took to Twitter to offer an apology on Tuesday night, the first time he had tweeted since Sandy.

"I wish to offer the people of New York a sincere, humble and unconditional apology," he wrote. "During a natural disaster that threatened the entire city, I made a series of irresponsible and inaccurate tweets. While some would use the anonymity and instant feedback of social media as an excuse, I take full responsibility for my actions. I deeply regret any distress or harm they may have caused. I have resigned from the congressional campaign of Christopher Wight, effective immediately."

"Shashank did offer his resignation…but Chris immediately agreed," Williams said in a phone interview, declining to provide more specifics.

Wight's chief of staff, Nick Mackey, will now lead the campaign team.