Politics

MSNBC Panelist Spouts Loony Conspiracy Theories On The Internet

Louise Mensch is the co-founder of Heat Street, a conservative website ran by News Corp, a former member of the UK Parliament, and a frequent guest on MSNBC. She also propagates unfounded conspiracy theories in blog posts and tweets.

Just about all of Mensch’s theories have centered around Russian President Vladimir Putin and alleged operations by his government to undermine the American political system.

Her most recent unfounded idea that caused an uproar on the internet was that the late Andrew Breitbart was murdered by Putin. “I absolutely believe that Andrew Breitbart was murdered by Putin, just as the founder of RT was murdered by Putin,” Mensch tweeted to her nearly 150,000 followers Friday while offering no evidence. The founder of the eponymous news site died suddenly at age 43 from heart failure in March 2012.

The News Corp employee went on to give scant reasoning for this theory, saying that former Breitbart executive chairman and current White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is the link behind the “murder.” “Breitbart and Russia are 100% linked. Bannon has been pushing Russia’s line since Andrew Breitbart ‘died suddenly,'” Mensch wrote.

Spreading unfounded theories like these are just a day in the life of Mensch. Just within the past few weeks, she has said that the riot at University of California Berkeley was “staged” and that Bannon is behind an anti-Trump Twitter account.

The former British MP moved on from both writing and managing Heat Street in January reportedly due to her tweets, and she’s now instead vice president of creative and strategy for News Corp. In the wake of her departure, however, Mensch launched a blog titled “Patribotics,” in which she flushes out her unfounded conspiracy theories in long stories instead of short tweets.

Her first story on the blog was “Dear Mr. Putin, Let’s Play Chess.” Mensch at times writes as if the blog post is a letter to Putin and has a litany of unverified claims such as: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a “Russian partisan”; there are Russian moles in the New York FBI criminal field office who might have planted old emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop; and that FBI Director James Comey has audio proof of Russian money financing Trump.

The story reads like fan-fiction as she described Director Comey as a “counter-intelligence patriot” battling Vladimir Putin.

Mensch has not held back when it comes to her views of the Russian president, having previously tweeted that the US “will fuck Putin til [sic] he bleeds.”

The News Corp executive penned a few other posts for her Patriobotics blog. In one of them, “Jeff Sessions: Attorney General, Suspect,” she argued that Sessions is a Russian pawn of sorts. One of the links in the story is completely hinged on a factual inaccuracy. Mensch repeatedly wrote that Richard Burt, who was a lobbyist for a Russian-owned gas company, was Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff. Burt was not Sessions’ chief of staff, Rick Dearborn was.

The other story, “Carolina Conspiracy,” centered around the idea that the 15-year-old girl Anthony Weiner was allegedly sexting online was actually a Russian hacking ring.

“I can exclusively report that there is ample evidence that suggests that Weiner was sexting not with a 15 year old girl but with a hacker, working for Russia, part of the North Carolina hacking group ‘Crackas With Attitude’, who hacked the head of the CIA, and a great many FBI agents, police officers, and other law enforcement officials,” Mensch wrote. Her evidence for this claim is rather thin.

This evidence included a random Twitter account asking before the story about Weiner broke, “Does Hillary’s top aide confide in her husband, child perv Anthony Weiner? Did she while Hil was Secretary of State?” According to Mensch, this is evidence of foreknowledge of the “hacking” as Weiner used the app “Confide” to allegedly communicate with the 15 year old girl, and that this random Twitter user could’ve only used the word “confide” to signal knowledge of a top secret hacking operation.

Another bit of evidence Mensch brought forward was that the 15-year-old girl Weiner allegedly sexted with signed off as a “girl that lost her faith in America” in an open letter sent to Director Comey.

“In the letter ‘she’ signs off ‘Girl that lost her faith in America’. ‘Lost her faith in America’ turns up both in a quote from Michelle Bachmann and a Breitbart article by Julia Hahn,” Mensch wrote. Mensch also tried tying Trump’s family to the alleged Russian hackers. “According to the Gaston County Gazette, Lara and Eric Trump visited the GOP headquarters there on October 21st. The ’15 year old teen’ and her ‘attorney father’ are ostensibly from… Gaston, North Carolina.”

This habit of spreading unfounded conspiracy theories online doesn’t seem to be to be too detrimental for Mensch, as she has appeared at least three times on MSNBC panels in the past month. MSNBC did not return a request for comment about Mensch’s theories.

News Corp did not return a request for comment about whether it is fine for one of their executives to tell over 100,000 Twitter followers the unverified claim that Jeff Sessions placed a spy on the Trump foreign policy team.