Roblox player posed as a journalist, infiltrated multiple White House briefings and asked Jen Psaki questions
An undercover Roblox player has infiltrated the White House press corps, in a ruse that lasted for months.
The fake reporter, named Kacey Montagu, posed as a writer for fictional news outlet White House News and created multiple Twitter accounts, which are followed by top White House officials and journalists.
Montagu was able to attend COVID-19 response Zoom briefings, their physical absence explained by social distancing protocols. Four times their questions were posed to President Joe Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki.
But who is Kacey Montagu?
“I love journalism, and I think the Press Corps is doing a pretty bad job at the moment, so I decided I would ensure some transparency and ask some questions me and some friends wanted the answer to,” said Montagu in email correspondence with Politico.
No personal information has been given, however. And while a Twitter account named Kacey ‘Lego’ Montagu (@SecMontagu) has been engaging with stories and individuals, no identifiable information can be discerned.
According to acquaintances in the Politico report, Montagu began the stunt as something to show off about in the Roblox community – the online gaming platform where, like digital Lego, players can play and programme their own games.
According to a DM conversation with NME, Montagu was inspired by political role-playing groups in the game and was reportedly the Secretary of State in a simulation of the US government called nUSA, but left due to a disagreement with the virtual President.
The ruse took place from 20 January to 10 April this year. So far White House officials are yet to get in touch now that the fake reporter has been caught.
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“I still receive the invite links to them on Zoom – it’s pretty weird being on a call with lots of real journalists and the COVID-19 task force at the White House – I tried to ask questions however they only select about 3 or 4 each time,” Montagu told NME.
The Roblox player decided against asking “memey” questions for fear of revealing themselves and instead focused on legitimate political inquiries.
One such question, obtained and verified by Politico, was as follows: “Recently the White House has had read outs of calls and has the name of the people saying ‘Senior Administration official’ so why isn’t the White House releasing the names of people in the calls, making these comments so that they can be held accountable to the American people?”
While this question wasn’t answered, Montagu was able to plant questions with other legitimate news outlets.
The story not only raises questions about press security in the White House, but how easily anybody can create a believable online persona.
The White House has declined to comment to Politico.