It was all just a joke, folks.
Newsweek reporter Kurt Eichenwald, who has aired more than one brash opinion about President-elect Donald Trump, announced Tuesday that his Sept. 14 tweet, which has since been deleted, about the billionaire businessman being in a mental hospital was part of a "series of jokes."
"I believe Trump was institutionalized in a mental hospital for a nervous breakdown in 1990, which is why he won’t release medical records," he wrote at the time.
Eichenwald, speaking to ABC's "Good Morning America" anchor George Stephanopoulos, said he was trying to get the attention of a source by sending out the baseless, inflammatory claim against Trump, who was then the Republican nominee for president.
—@kurteichenwald said on GMA his Trump mental hospital tweet was part of series of jokes & intended to be “signal t… https://t.co/J5vdZifXqZ— Oliver Darcy (@Oliver Darcy) 1482245576.0
"I was writing a series of jokes leading up to that with the intent of sending that tweet, which was a signal to a source to talk to me," the Newsweek writer said of the tweet.
He told the GMA host that "there was a reporting purpose" for the incendiary comment, which he claims was an attempt — albeit a poor one — to mock Fox News and conservative-leaning outlets for raising questions about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's health.
And Stephanopoulos just let the bizarre explanation for the suggestion that the president-elect was once hospitalized for mental instability go, neglecting to press Eichenwald on the matter.
Just days before his appearance on ABC, Eichenwald sat down with Fox News' Tucker Carlson for an interview that the Fox host dubbed "a little nutty."
Interestingly, during his lengthy conversation with Carlson, Eichenwald refused to even come close to answering any questions about the controversial tweet about Trump's past mental health. Instead, he told Carlson that Trump was at one time taking a "heavy prescription for an amphetamine derivative" — a claim Eichenwald made without providing any evidence or further detail.
Maybe that was part of the joke, too.