MAMOSA REport — A former British legislator who’s now a media executive is at the heart of the Trump administration’s explosive allegation that President Barack Obama was spying on him during the 2016 poll campaign.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the politician-turned-journalist is the writer behind an article published on the eve of the U.S. election titled: “EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia.”
The article was published on the right-leaning, libertarian website Heat Street. It did not create much of a stir at the time. But it has come under the spotlight after Trump, in a tweetstorm over the weekend, accused Obama of wiretapping his Trump Tower offices during the election campaign.
Trump compared the alleged bugging to the Nixon-related Watergate scandal in the seventies, but he has not offered any evidence to back up his claims, media reports have said.
In tweets on Monday according to the report, Mensch emphasized that her reporting does not back up Trump’s wiretapping claim, even though the White House cited her article to justify the allegation. She stressed that her reporting refers to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant and does not mention anything about wiretapping.
Over the weekend, the White House cited reports “from BBC, Heat Street, New York Times, Fox News, among others” to justify the claims. Former Obama administration officials and aides have denied the accusation, the report said.
After combing through these news reports, The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler concluded that the piece by Mensch in Heat Street was “the most important” of the lot, the paper claims.
In her report, published Nov. 7, Mensch said the FBI was granted a FISA court warrant in October “giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.”
She cited “two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community” as evidence for those claims.
Mensch, who is based in New York, said her sources contacted her because of her outspoken backing for the intelligence community. She has, for instance, called Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified documents, “a loathsome traitor.”
“They gave me one of the most closely guarded secrets in intelligence,” she said, referring to her sources. Speaking to the Guardian, a left-leaning British newspaper, she added: “People are speculating why someone trusted me with that. Nobody met me in a darkened alley in a fedora, but they saw me as someone who has political experience and is their friend. I am a pro-national security partisan. I don’t have divided loyalties.”
Mensch, 45, is a force on social media and describes herself on Twitter as a “Conservative. Feminist. Optimist. Patriot.”
Anyone who follows her on Twitter — and more than 170,000 people do — knows that she is not a Trump supporter and has been probing Trump-Russia links for some time, according to WP.
In Britain, Mensch is best known for her stint as a Conservative lawmaker and for her work as a successful chick-lit novelist under her maiden name, Louise Bagshawe.
She works as an executive for News Corp., a media company owned by Murdoch. She helped to launch Heat Street last year but left that role in December and is focusing on creating digital media projects for the company.