Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Sinking of the Titanic

Or, as the Washington Post put it:

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

That Wiretap Story Is Spinning Out of Control

Louise Mensch on being at the center of the wiretap story

Louise Mensch on being at the center of the wiretap story

Mensch: It's legit, it's a court of the United States. Contrary to rumor, people just can't go around wire tapping everybody and etc. What was interesting to me and I think probably many of the other journalists who later corroborated my story or at least reported the same thing, which includes the BBC and the Guardian, is that nobody that reported this warrant ever mentioned so much as a wire tap at all. We just reported the warrant that our sources told us existed and we all reported the same thing. So this, the only people that reported a wire tap at Trump Tower were Breitbart News. Nobody else! And if there's been some leaks, maybe Steve Bannon or some of these other ex-Breitbart staffers have got something to answer to.

FOX: Well, do you think it's that they have more information than you initially had or do you think it's a misunderstanding of what the FISA warrant is?

Mensch: Uh, it could be a little bit of both but after all, tweets came out from the President's own accounts. Now, I don't know, I don't even know for sure if he himself is making those tweets but somebody made those tweets under his name and they said he just found out about a wire tap just before the victory. Well that's fascinating to me 'cause I never reported it. Uh, so either the President has a terrific imagination or the President is receiving some solid information that somebody in his team has been caught up, like your correspondent Catherine Herridge, said in incidental collection and that's not very good for team Trump.

FOX: Well original sourcing and reporting on this you mentioned came from you, from the BBC, and the Guardian all say they've got sources as to these FISA warrants, or FISA warrant, singular. Now the former DNI Director James Clapper appeared on the Sunday shows yesterday. He says if it existed, he would know about it and he categorically denied it. What do you make of that?

Mensch: Well I don't know that he categorically denied what I reported which was a FISA warrant on communications between two Russian banks. He was being asked about the President's accusation that President Obama had targeted a warrant politically at him or at Team Trump and at Trump Tower. There's no such FISA warrant and it would be impossible to get one and indeed, I faithfully reported that the couple of times that Director Comey apparently went to the court and asked for a warrant that named Mr. Trump, he was turned down flat. So I think you heard DNI Clapper, former DNI Clapper denying that there was a politically motivated, targeted FISA warrant at Donald Trump. And I haven't reported that to my knowledge nor has anyone else.

FOX: Yeah, my remembrance of his discussion was that he was asked if there was such an order.

Mensch: Yes.

FOX: So but is it possible that the DNI wouldn't know about it?

Mensch: Um I don't know because I don't, honestly, I don... I try not to bluff when I don't know things.

FOX: Good for journalists, we should stick with what we know

Mensch: I believe he has, but such an order, does that mean no FISA warrant of any kind, which I think would be really hard for a DNI to deny or confirm. I think that would be kind of illegal even. But I think what he was saying is there's no order of a politically targeted FISA court warrant that was aiming directly at Trump Tower and the political campaign.

FOX: And you're confident in your sources and what you've reported and again it was dealing with banks that were communicating with each other and if Trump staffers or Trump campaign officials or people connected to him in any way were caught up in it, that would have been secondary.

Mensch: It gave permission, incidental permission, for people caught up in this secondary communication, incidental communication, it gave permission for the FBI to look at that but they were not the target. Communications between two Russian banks were the target my sources said.