The New York Times decided to give a conspiracy theorist a platform to expand on her Russian conspiracy theories.
Louise Mensch, the former member of UK Parliament who believes Andrew Breitbart was murdered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, wrote the article “What To Ask About Russian Hacking” for the Times. The story was first published online Friday and appeared prominently on the site’s front page Saturday morning. The article was also published in the newspaper’s Saturday print edition.
Mensch’s article presents a hypothetical guest list for the House Intelligence Committee’s upcoming hearing on Russian interference in the election, and questions for these guests. “The list of initial witnesses does not inspire confidence in the House committee’s effectiveness,” wrote Mensch, a current executive for News Corporation.
The list of initial witnesses includes FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who Trump fired weeks into office. (RELATED: Former CIA Director Says No Evidence Of Trump-Kremlin Collusion)
Mensch instead would rather have the House Intelligence Committee invite a variety of Trump campaign officials, surrogates, and associates. She also listed other figures including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, and Erik Prince, the founder of the notorious Blackwater USA. She then suggested lines of questioning for several of these individuals.
The Times article is a big step up from where Mensch typically writes about her Russian conspiracy theories, which is on her Twitter page or her blog “Patriobotics.” She has written that “Breitbart and Russia are 100% linked. Bannon has been pushing Russia’s line since Andrew Breitbart ‘died suddenly'”; that Jeff Sessions is a “Russian partisan”; and that the 15-year-old girl Anthony Weiner was allegedly sexting online with was actually a Russian hacking ring.
While being featured on America’s “paper of record” is notable for Mensch, she has been cited in the past weeks by the White House. Mensch reported on Heat Street, a News Corp site she helped found, that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant had been granted in October to spy on relations between the Trump camp and Russia. In the wake of Trump’s claim that President Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower during the presidential campaign, Sean Spicer and an unnamed White House spokesman have cited this Heat Street report.
New York Times national security reporter Charlie Savage tweeted late Saturday that although the Times published Mensch’s op-ed, it has found no evidence to corroborate her story about a FISA warrant.