The Trump era has surfaced an ensemble cast of bizarre characters: hustling for eyeballs through a killer combination of outrage, bombast and grift. The majority of these are in the Trump corner: think Candace Owens, Laura Loomer and Jacob Wohl. But let’s now turn the spotlight towards the strangest creatures of the anti-Trump brigade. Cockburn is of course talking about the Krassenstein twins.
For the uninitiated, the twins are Brian and Ed Krassenstein, 37-year-old brothers from Fort Myers, Fla. They rose to prominence through a practice Cockburn refers to as ‘wohling’: that’s to say, whenever @realdonaldtrump tweets something, you reply with a bland but extremely partisan statement, in the hope of accruing likes and retweets, and building your personal brand. But where Jacob Wohl (RIP) built his name by treating the Donald to a laudatory rimjob, the Krassensteins are the Twitter limpets of the Hashtag Resistance. Here’s some of their finest work, literally from the last day:
If you’re baited into following them, you can expect more banal musings such as:
They’ve spun this success into a website, hillreporter.com, which notably debunked Jack Burkman and Wohl’s attempted #MeTooing of Robert Mueller (cannot believe I’m writing this), a YouTube channel, and possibly the most nauseating podcast you’ll ever allow your ears to listen to.
The first episode of the Krassenstein podcast opens exactly like you'd expect it to open. pic.twitter.com/BikDqOJ30F
— big time influencer guy on here (@boring_as_heck) January 29, 2019
Inexplicably, given the substance of their posts, they are followed by members of Congress like Eric Swalwell and Ayanna Pressley, once-respectable commentators like Van Jones and Megyn Kelly, and Democratic candidates for president like Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker. Surely such influence is just as scary as Trump giving Candace Owens an engagement shout-out during his CPAC speech, or Donald Trump Jr. fielding Laura Loomer’s wide-eyed questions.
But are they truly the match of the worst Trump grifters? Do they have the same portfolio of shady business dealings as the likes of Wohl or the criminal record of Ali Alexander/Akbar? Well, according to the Daily Beast:
‘In late 2016, federal agents showed up at the Fort Myers, Florida, homes of brothers Brian and Edward Krassenstein, seizing computers and financial records, and hauling off “at least 20 to 30 bundles of stuff.”
‘According to the feds, the brothers also, until recently, ran websites that propped up fraudulent online financial scams. Law enforcement officials last year seized nearly half a million dollars from the brothers, money that prosecutors say was derived from wire fraud. The Krassensteins, who have not been charged with any crimes, maintain that they did nothing wrong or illegal.
‘“There is reasonable cause,” the threshold of proof for federal asset forfeiture claims, “to believe that the Krassensteins would have known that these funds were criminally derived,” Adams claimed. “There is also reasonable cause to believe that… Brian and Edward Krassenstein have conspired to commit wire fraud.”’