The FBI is investigating an incident where someone posing as Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, contacted Republican members of the House of Representatives and tried to extract information on their whereabouts and “availability for meetings,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. One GOP rep even engaged with the fake Pence aide “repeatedly.”
The Journal wrote:
Several House Republicans have received the texts, and at least one member has been repeatedly engaging with the imposter, who posed as Alyssa Farah, Mr. Pence’s press secretary and a former House staffer, one of the people said.
An FBI spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the Journal’s report, a spokesperson said that GOP Representative Liz Cheney (Wyoming) referred the matter to the House Sergeant at Arms office, while Representative Adam Kinzinger (Illinois) contacted law enforcement. Lawmakers consider the incident a potential security threat, and the paper wrote the number has been blocked from reaching White House lines, though further context on the content of the messages was not immediately available.
Several government officials have fallen for individuals posing as members of Donald Trump’s administration—most notably including a prankster that tricked former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, former Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, and then-ambassador to Russia-elect Jon Huntsman into believing they were various figures in Trump’s orbit. (Scaramucci in particular fell hard for the hoax, arguing at length with an imposter Reince Priebus.) Others in the administration have been tricked by similar efforts, including Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who was punked by a crew known under the moniker “Jerky Boys of Russia.” In November, Pence himself got into a snafu involving someone who should not have been allowed anywhere near him—a Florida sheriff’s deputy wearing a QAnon conspiracy theory logo on his uniform.