After the latest, and perhaps most ridiculous, allegation of spying to come out of the increasingly paranoid inner circle of Combover Crybaby Donald Trump - that Barack Obama by-passed the USA’s security services and tasked GCHQ with surveillance duties - was dismissed by all those who would have been involved in such an enterprise, few stopped and thought as to where this frankly batshit idea came from.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
As the Trump gang correctly told afterwards, the claim had been brought to prominence by the equally paranoid media outlet that is Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). Their pundit Andrew Napolitano, a former Judge (and example to the likes of Daniel Hannan that electing the judiciary might not be such a good thing), claimed to have three security sources asserting GCHQ had spied on The Donald.
Napolitano might have noted three people saying the same thing, but the genesis of this claim can, as with that of a wiretap in Trump Tower (which was also a crock of crap), be traced back to one person, and it will not surprise Zelo Street regulars one bit to learn that this person is (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who has recently appointed Herself Personally Now as sole fount of knowledge on Trump and spying.
Ms Mensch has since deleted the incriminating Tweets, but thanks to the persistence of John Cardillo - who is a Fox contributor among his other duties - we can see the contents of two of them, together with Cardillo’s attempts to get a straight answer from her. His questioning was straightforward: “why did you delete all your Jan 7 tweets claiming GCHQ surveilled Trump after they denied? … Which is it? Did GCHQ surveil Trump & Co. as you claimed or not? Why did you delete all tweets on it?” But back came only spin.
“Many people (not me) have reported U.K. intelligence has handed over material on Team Trump talking to Russians. Target was Russians” claimed Ms Mensch. But the deleted Tweet cited by Cardillo read “Thanks very much @realdonaldtrump she might bring you some fun tapes of your team from @GCHQ”. It was dated January 7.
So it was no surprise that Cardillo was back with more questions: “why didn't you use the words "incidental collection" in this tweet you deleted? Why *only* reference @GCHQ? … please stop avoiding the question. Why did you delete your Jan 7th tweets claiming that @GCHQ surveilled Trump? Answer, thx”. And then he produced the Ace: “you clearly tweeted, 12 days ago, that @GCHQ, not "incidental collections," was up on Trump & Co.. Why the backpedal now?”. The contents of the second Mensch Tweet were the clincher.
This is what she wrote: “CNN report says these intercepts are newly available to US IC = US didn’t do it themselves. I lay a pound to a farthing that’s @GCHQ”. Her subsequent exhortation to “look over there” did not impress: “you can also note that the British and the Dutch offered US IC meetings between Trump AND RUSSIANS”.
Louise Mensch set another intelligence hare running with little or no basis to do so. The result has damaged US-UK relations. And not only does she not appear to understand this, she appears not to care. And remember, they allowed her to become an MP.