After Donald Trump’s announcement of a presidential exploratory committee, you kinda figured the 2016 Republican field couldn’t get much larger or crazier. But then The Hill did a routine check with Texas Members of Congress as to whether they are supporting Ted Cruz, and produced a piece originally headlined: “Louie Gohmert Weighing Presidential Bid.”

The mind reels. The lefty blogger cuts capers and howls at the moon.

But it was all a tease. Here’s what the updated article actually says:

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) sent mixed signals on his White House aspirations Thursday.

The conservative firebrand first told The Hill that he might run for president in 2016.

Gohmert indicated he might launch an exploratory committee for president when asked whether he would support Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) White House bid.

“Ted is a good friend and would be an outstanding President; however, I haven’t ruled out an exploratory committee myself,” Gohmert said in a statement emailed to The Hill from a spokesperson.

Later Thursday, an aide told the Texas Tribune that Gohmert was not entirely serious.

“Washington D.C. contains too many who do not recognize statements made with a figurative tongue in cheek, sometimes known as being ironic,” the aide emailed to the Texas Tribune.

The aide went on to joke about Gohmert’s lack of hair, saying there will be “no more bald Presidents in his lifetime.”

It’s not quite clear to me what was “ironic” about Louie saying he might run for president; maybe he learned the word from listening to Alanis Morissette.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.