CJ Pearson, the 13-year-old Augusta boy who has gained popularity as an outspoken YouTube critic of President Barack Obama, claims to have earned Obama's notice: Pearson said earlier today that he's been blocked on Twitter by the president's account (@POTUS) — which the White House denies.
"Well, this sucks," Pearson tweeted this afternoon, with a screenshot seemingly showing that he had been blocked.
His being blocked cannot be independently verified. The Blaze, a conservative news website, noted that Pearson appeared to be following the president's account soon after claiming to be blocked, which he wouldn't have been able to do.
Assistant Press Secretary Frank Benenati tweeted a denial of Pearson's claim, a few hours after Pearson's tweet: "Public Service Announcement: Nobody is or has ever been blocked from the @POTUS twitter account."
Pearson has denied this denial, calling the implication that he is a liar "outrageous." He repeated that comment when reached by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but declined to say more.
Pearson first rose to fame as a conservative activist early this year, when he published a YouTube video headlined "President Obama: Do you really love America?" It subsequently went viral, and he said his Facebook page was then temporarily locked.
His YouTube channel now has more than 15,700 subscribers, with recent videos discussing Common Core and "the real problem facing the black community" (Pearson is black), and highlighting his apparances on Fox News.
His most recent video was a rebuke to the president's White House invitation to Ahmed Mohamed, a Texas teen arrested after school officials mistook his electronic clock for a bomb and which many held up as an example of racial profiling.
That video has more than 1.8 million views, though Pearson has drawn criticism for his views as well, often in the comments on his videos.
Pearson was also behind a recent bill that would have lowered the minimum age to hold office in the state legislature.
“Maybe it is best to be a political activist,” he told the AJC in Februrary. “Maybe run for office. Maybe I do have aspirations to one day be the governor of Georgia. I know that I do love America. It is the greatest country in the world, and it is time we started acting like it.”
This story has been updated.