"Star Trek" star George Takei sent Twitter into a frenzy Saturday after retweeting a “bombshell” announcement: He’s running for Congress in 2018 to unseat embattled California representative and House Intelligence Committe Chairman Devin Nunes.
“Well, the cat's out of the bag it seems,” he posted on Twitter with the hashtag #Takei2018.
While some fans debated the suspicious timing of the tweet — if it’s midnight on the East Coast, does it count as April Fool's Day on the West Coast? — social media exploded with the news. The hashtag #Takei2018 began trending, and the actor's timeline was flooded with congratulations — some from other celebrities and politicians.
But, as some had suspected, it was all an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke. Takei, 79, later clarified that he had posted it to call attention to Georgia's upcoming special election in which Democratic hopeful Jon Ossoff hopes to fill the congressional seat left vacant by the new health and human services secretary, Tom Price.
“No, I’m not running for Congress. Happy 4/1! But Jon Ossoff is on 4/18,” Takei tweeted.
His initial ruse was roundly believed because Takei and his husband, Brad, are both outspoken political activists and prominent advocates for the LGBTQ community.
Over the years, the actor has become known on social media for his stinging rebukes of politicians and as a frequent critic of President Donald Trump.