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The 'tweet heard around the world

The 'tweet heard around the world

On Sunday evening, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's chief of staff, Keith Urbahn, casually posted what is now believed to be the first report of Osama bin Laden's death:

Hot damn.

Politico spoke to Urbahn about his historic tweet today:

"Don't know if its true, but let's pray it is," he added soon thereafter. "Ladies, gents, let's wait to see what the President says. Could be misinformation or pure rumor."

When the news was confirmed, outlets from the New York Times to The Guardian cited Urbahn's initial tweet as being first to plant a flag on the story.

"I was sitting down to do some work in bed, actually, and I got a phone call and someone let me know that there was a possibility that U.S. forces had killed bin Laden," Urbahn told POLITICO. "He was not sure. He was interested in having Mr. Rumsfeld come on the air to talk about it, so I said, 'We'll see what happens, we'll see what shakes out.'

"I turned to my wife and said, 'That was an interesting call. Someone just suggested that UBL was killed. And there have been reports like this before, and we didn't take much stock in it. But I thought, why not put it on Twitter? That'd be interesting. And certainly Twitter would be ablaze with others who hear the same thing. No way I would be the first."

But he was.

"Within minutes, the thing had just gone viral," Urbahn said, and his Twitter account grew from around 300 followers to more than 5,000 within 12 hours.

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