In one instance, Mansour leaked damaging information about a liberal radio host in Alaska.
“Got a scoop for you about Shannyn Moore. You’ll love this! Feel free to post it far and wide and chat about it everywhere,” Mansour wrote in a July 3, 2010, message, “First, Shannyn gets no pay for her show. In fact, she actually has to pay $150 a hour or $450 a day to rant on the air … Second, ever wonder why there are no sponsors KUDO 1080am’s 11am-2pm show? No one will buy commercial time.”
“It seems her life partner Kelly Walters is hocking the show for any sponsor. I guess Planned Parenthood and Valtrex were unavailable,” Mansour wrote. Valtrex is a drug for treating genital herpes.
Mansour serves as Palin’s domestic policy adviser and speechwriter. She is a gatekeeper, deciding who gets to see and talk to Palin, and who doesn’t. Mansour also maintains Palin’s online presence.
Part of her online work, apparently, includes improving Palin’s morale by urging activists to say nice things about the former governor online.
“Hey can you remember to send BigBoss some love @SarahPalinUSA. She reads her RTs (now that she has the new BB Twitter app) & haters spam her,” Mansour wrote in a May 30, 2010, message.
When originally contacted by TheDC about the messages, Mansour lied and said none of them were from her. Mansour said she had already encountered the messages and accurately recalled the Twitter handle for their source.
“I did actually send him one direct message. He was asking for – it was like something really innocuous – he was just asking for information about something. And I just replied and said, ‘no’ or something like that. And then the kid then used that and started to create direct messages. And that was like a real serious thing for me because I realized anyone can do that with like a screencap,” Mansour explained.
TheDC then took steps to authenticate whether the messages were real, including logging into a Hotmail account that received email announcements from Twitter with the content of the direct messages in them. Two forensic computer analysts verified that the emails had been sent from Twitter’s servers after searching the message source code for signs of forgery.
Presented with this evidence, Mansour changed her story from an initial denial to anger (“this is really kind of skeezy”), bargaining (“can I just appeal to you to leave the Bristol stuff alone?”), and sadness at the consequences of her words (“this is going to destroy my reputation simply because people will say, ‘why were you sending a direct [message to a Palin activist]?’”).
In some instances, Mansour admitted to sending the messages and recalled additional context about what she was thinking when she sent them.
“If you’re asking whether I called Erick Erickson a douchebag once? Absolutely, I probably did, because he’s written some nasty things about my boss.” Minutes later she said, “I believe at the time when I wrote that comment about Erickson he had written a snotty piece about Palin.”
Finally, rather than answer questions about the context of the messages, Mansour sent a short statement saying the messages were part of “personal private conversations between myself and someone who I thought was a friend.”