Leif Olsen, a Department of Labor official recently appointed by President Donald Trump, will return to his position after resigning following a misleading story that tied him to anti-Semitism.
Bloomberg published a story linking Olsen to “anti-Semitic” Facebook posts. The posts in question included a series of back-and-forth comments in which Olsen facetiously made statements about Jewish people and Zionism to highlight the anti-Semitism of others.
Bloomberg questioned Olsen on his comments, to which the Trump appointee said, “It was sarcastic criticism of the alt-right’s conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic positions.”
Still, Bloomberg sent the posts to the Labor Department’s leadership and Olsen resigned his position.
It didn’t take long for people to rush to Olsen’s defense. Many were outraged that the story had taken his comments against the alt-right out of context to use against him.
Awful. Pretending this Trump official is sympathetic to the alt-right when, in fact, the post in question mocked the alt-right. Again, there's a reason so many on the center-right are willing to believe the worst about the media. https://t.co/TTIMmCqXgQ
— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) September 3, 2019
This revolting smear by a Bloomberg reporter is a perfect example of how (according to a defector friend) our society is coming to resemble communism: leftist media figures will distort and even lie to destroy reputations and careers of their perceived enemies. https://t.co/aUABKVw2rG
— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) September 3, 2019
Anyone with basic reading comprehension skills would've known after 2 seconds that he was actually *mocking* anti-semites, but that's apparently a lot to ask for the media these days https://t.co/6wXvLAM5RM
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) September 3, 2019
Although Olsen resigned from his position following the controversy, he was offered back his job with the Department of Labor. He took to Twitter to thank those who had supported him throughout the dramatic week.
The department also issued a statement about Olsen’s return, noting that they had examined the accusations and found that he did not deserve to be fired.
“On Friday, August 30, 2019, Senior Policy Advisor of the Wage and Hour Division, Leif Olson offered his resignation and the Department accepted. Following a thorough reexamination of the available information and upon reflection, the Department has concluded that Mr. Olson has satisfactorily explained the tone of the content of his sarcastic social media posts and will return to his position in the Wage and Hour Division.”
Bloomberg updated their original story on Olsen, noting that he had been given back his job and adding the department statement. They also changed the headline of the original story to remove the accusation of anti-Semitism, noting, “In light of the subsequent events, we removed ‘Anti-Semitic’ from the headline and clarified Olson’s reference to those tropes.”