An American politician has become the butt of jokes online following an awkward Twitter snafu.
Dean Browning is a white former commissioner from Lehigh County in Pennsylvania – but he caused confusion after posting a tweet on Tuesday claiming to be a "black gay guy".
The embarrassing saga began when Browning tweeted: "What Trump built in 4 years, Biden will destroy in 4 months".
It's a pretty standard comment for a diehard Republican Party supporter, but things got interesting after a critic replied to his initial tweet, praising Barack Obama's eight-year administration.
"I'm a black gay guy and I can personally say that Obama did nothing for me, my life only changed a little bit and it was for the worse," Browning's account responded.
"Everything is so much better under Trump though.
"I feel respected – which I never do when Democrats are involved."
Unsurprisingly, the tweet went viral, with critics convinced Browning actually meant to send the tweet from a fake troll account.
Eventually, the failed politician responded to the scandal, claiming he was actually quoting a message he has received earlier in the week "from a follower".
"Sorry if context was not clear," he said, before arguing that "Trump received record minority votes & record LGBTQ votes. Many people won't say it vocally, but do in private."
In another potential twist, many Twitter sleuths claimed Browning could be involved with the "burner" account @DanPurdy322, with Washington Post reporter Philip Bump claiming that handle regularly responds to Browning's posts.
But the story gets stranger.
A man claiming to own the Purdy account later released a video insisting he was a real person and that "Dean accidentally posted somehow and that's the end of the story".
But social media users then discovered the man in the video was none other than Byl Holte, the adopted son and nephew of singer Patti Labelle.
Purdy's Twitter account has since been suspended.
Who is Dean Browning?
Browning ran for election to the US House to represent Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District, but lost in the Republican primary on June 2, 2020.
According to his Twitter bio, he is a "proud pro-life & pro-2A Christian conservative dedicated to enacting common sense solutions to Keep America Great".
Browning, who has lived in Lehigh Valley since 1979, studied science at university and retired in 2018 after a 40-year career spent at several organisations, including the Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
He has been married to wife Cheryl for 32 years and, according to his political page, "stood up to public employee union bosses and saved taxpayers nearly $7 million a year by initiating a pay freeze and reforming the county compensation and pension system, while reducing the deficit by 65 per cent".