Labor reinstates official accused of anti-Semitic posts by Bloomberg story: report
© Greg Nash

A Labor Department employee who resigned after being accused of making anti-Semitic social media posts he said were sarcastic will be reinstated, according to the Daily Caller, citing a senior department official.

Leif Olson, a senior policy adviser for the Wage and Hour Division, announced his resignation 18 days after Bloomberg Law reported on a 2016 Facebook post in which Olson and a friend sarcastically invoked anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in reference to then-House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDemocratic super PAC quotes Reagan in anti-Trump ad set to air on Fox News: 'Are you better off?' Trump lashes out at Reagan Foundation after fundraising request The Memo: Trump's grip on GOP loosens as polls sink MORE’s (R-Wis.) resounding defeat of a primary challenger.


“It was sarcastic criticism of the alt-right’s conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic positions,” Olson told Bloomberg. Ryan’s primary challenger in 2016, Paul Nehlen, is an open anti-Semite who has praised the gunman in the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

“Following a thorough reexamination of the available information and upon reflection, the department has concluded that Olson has satisfactorily explained the tone and content of his sarcastic social media post and will return to his position,” the Labor Department said in a statement. The Daily Caller was the first to report on the news.

Before the announcement of his reinstatement, Olson was defended by many on both the left and the right, with Vox’s Dylan Matthews writing, “You do not need a PhD in linguistics to correctly identify this as obvious sarcasm” and noting that Olson himself had written a post clarifying the “garbage” his post was meant to satirize.

The Anti-Defamation League, which initially condemned Olson’s post, later told The Washington Post, “We appreciate Mr. Olson’s clarification that he intended to be sarcastic with his posts and accept his explanation of the content in question.”