A hoaxer sent 2 “resistance” writers a load of gar-baj about the president and the two Trump-hating hacks printed it without absolutely any vetting. Their tweets were picked up by other crapola sites and reprinted.
Claude Taylor tweeted fake details of criminal inquiries into Trump that were invented by a source whose claim to work for the New York attorney general was not checked, according to emails seen by the Guardian. The allegations were endorsed as authentic and retweeted by his co-writer Louise Mensch.
The source’s false tips included an allegation, which has been aggressively circulated by Mensch and Taylor, that Trump’s inactive fashion model agency is under investigation by New York authorities for possible sex trafficking.
The hoaxer, who fed the information to Taylor by email, said she acted out of frustration over the “dissemination of fake news” by Taylor and Mensch. Their false stories about Trump have included a claim that he was already being replaced as president by Senator Orrin Hatch in a process kept secret from the American public.
“Taylor asked no questions to verify my identity, did no vetting whatsoever, sought no confirmation from a second source – but instead asked leading questions to support his various theories, asking me to verify them,” the source said in an email.
After being approached for comment by the Guardian on Monday, Taylor posted what he described as a “mea culpa” on Twitter. “As a ‘citizen journalist’ I acknowledge my error and do apologize,” he wrote.
Mensch denied using the bogus information and said her allegations about Trump’s model agency came from her own sources. Asked why she had retweeted Taylor’s false posts, Mensch said: “I don’t think anybody can vet anybody else’s sources.”
Thousands of people have reposted the false claims tweeted by Taylor, a former staffer in Bill Clinton’s White House. Mensch, a former member of parliament in the UK, retweeted at least 18 posts by Taylor that were based on the hoaxer’s false information, spreading them further afield.
The pair describe themselves as co-writers and have cultivated a large fanbase among some critics of Trump, many of whom identify as members of the “resistance” movement eager to see the president removed from office. Taylor has about 200,000 followers on Twitter while Mensch has 267,000 followers.
Claiming to report things that the mainstream media will not, they have also moved to collect money from readers. Mensch’s website Patribiotics accepts donations “to fund more writers and research”. Taylor has said he will soon establish an online fundraising campaign to protect himself from legal threats. A GoFundMe page created by supporters of Taylor has already raised more than $18,000 in his name.
Their reporting has at times entered the mainstream political news agenda. During a television interview earlier this year, Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts repeated unverified information about the inquiries into Trump and Russia that he had gleaned from Mensch’s website. He later withdrew the comment.