Prior to last week’s hoax in Pittsburgh, Ashley Todd had given College Republican officials no indication she might be capable of such deceit.
“It’s just a bizarre, bizarre situation,” said one source.
There was “never any inkling” that Todd was dishonest or emotionally unstable, the source explained in a telephone interview. Todd reportedly told police that she has had prior mental health issues, but nobody at College Republicans — for whom Todd was one of about 50 volunteers working in this year’s campaign — was aware of that background.
Todd’s tale of being attacked at an ATM was initially convincing to fellow Republicans she told in Pittsburgh. “She must have put on a heck of a show,” said the source, who first heard about Todd’s story late Wednesday night.
Todd had been one of about 55 volunteers who attended an August training session in Washington, DC. Several would-be candidates for the College Republican program were “weeded out” during that session, but Todd seemed “perfectly normal,” the source said. Nor were College Republican officials aware that Todd had been asked to leave a group of grassroots Ron Paul supporters in her native Texas because she used deceptive tactics, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
After admitting that the reported attack was a hoax, but before being taken into police custody, Todd told a friend in Pittsburgh that she didn’t think it was “such a big deal,” said the source, who found that remark “incredible.”