The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that the FBI is investigating “fake” text messages sent to a number of House Republicans from Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary Alyssa Farah.
The Journal reported “someone impersonating” Farah pressed send on messages that at least one lawmaker responded to. The Journal reported the messages asked about schedules and meeting availability. It was reported that texts sought the whereabouts of some lawmakers and their availability for meetings.
As the matter is investigated, here’s what you need to know about Farah:
1. Alyssa Farah is the Daughter of Conservative Conspiracy Theory Website Founder & Lebanese & Syrian-American Joseph Farah
WorldNetDaily is an online publication founded by Joseph Farah 15 years ago. It describes itself as “A Free Press for A Free People.” The Southern Poverty Law Center says it’s an extremist group.
“ …(it) claims to pursue truth, justice and liberty. But in fact, its pages are devoted to manipulative fear-mongering and outright fabrications designed to further the paranoid, gay-hating, conspiratorial and apocalyptic visions of Farah and his hand-picked contributors from the fringes of the far-right and fundamentalist worlds.”
Based in Centerville, Virginia, the far-right site has birtherism as among its most controversial and seminal theories.
2. Farah, Who Produced the ‘Laura Ingraham Show,’ Was Hired by VP Mike Pence to be His Press Secretary in 2017
According to her LinkedIn, Farah was the producer for the controversial far-right conservative pundit and talk show host for a year. Farah says her job for Ingraham included being the showrunner for the “top-rated program daily for an audience of 6 million listeners.”
Farah was the booker for the show and was responsible for all media, social or otherwise, for Ingraham.
Farah was brought on board as Pence’s spokesperson in the winter of 2017.
Her first tweet as his press secretary was an image of the VP on his way to Capitol Hill.
3. Farah, Former College Republican National Committee Communications Director, Says She’s a ‘Special Assistant to President Donald J. Trump’
Farah, who earned a degree in journalism from Patrick Henry College, her profile reads, tried that degree out as the College Republican National Committee communications director where she “Developed, implemented and oversaw an aggressive election-year media strategy that resulted in the most earned media in the organization’s history.” She does not expand on that claim.
On her LinkedIn page, Farah also does not expand on what her duties are as a special assistant to Trump but says she has been in the role for well over a year, beginning in October of 2017.
4. Farah Was One of a Number of White House Staffers to Have Violated the Hatch Act With ‘Make America Great Again’ Political Tweets
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a formal complaint with the Office of Special Counsel against Farah and others in August of 2018 for violating the Hatch Act.
“By using her official social media account to tweet messages that included President Trump’s campaign slogan “MAGA” (Make America Great Again). These tweets were directed toward the success or failure of Donald J. Trump, a candidate in a partisan race. By tweeting these posts on a Twitter account that refers to her official position, Ms. Farah likely engaged in political activity prohibited by law,” CREW wrote.
The AP reported that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent her and others warning letters advising the tweets violated Hatch, which restricts executive branch federal employees’ political activities.
5. Farah, Former Freedom Caucus Spokeswoman & Broadcast Intern for G Gordan Liddy’s Radio America Show, Isn’t Shy on Social
Farah was in charge of communications for the House Freedom Caucus from February 2016 until September 2017 and handled all media and acted as the spokeswoman for the 40-lawmaker group. She was in particular spokesperson for Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows and in the 114th Congress, for Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan.
For a few months in 2009, while still in college, Farah worked as an intern for G. Gordan Liddy’s Radio America show.
And Farah is hardly quiet about her politics.
“Still genuinely can’t believe that some consultants somewhere told Elizabeth Warren it was a good idea to release her DNA results,” Farah tweeted on Jan. 2, just as Sen. Elizabeth Warren began an exploratory 2020 run for president.