Rick Gates, the former deputy chairman of the Trump Campaign was allegedly in contact with an Israeli intelligence firm about a social-media disinformation campaign targeted at Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton and to the benefit of Trump, according to the New York Times.
According to the NYT, Rick Gates contacted a company called Psy-Group which is filled with former Israeli intelligence operatives and offered results using social media tactics, for which traditionally Russia was accused during the 2016 Presidential Election.
A different proposal offered opposition research about Hillary Clinton and people close to her.
A third one described a long-term plan to use social media to expose divides in rival campaigns.
Together, the proposals were labeled “Project Rome,” and referred to Trump, Clinton, and Cruz “Lion,” “Forest,” and “Bear,” respectively. In total, the work would have cost the Trump campaign $3 million. According to NYT, Gates’ lawyer declined to comment.
According to the NYT, Special Counsel Robert Mueller who investigates the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 Elections have obtained the three proposals and have also questioned Psy-Group employees.
There is, however, no evidence that any of the proposals were utilized. However as reported by NYT in May 2018, Donald Trump Jr. did, in fact, meet with Joel Zamel, the head of Psy-Group. In addition, George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman and adviser to Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos were also in attendance at Trump Tower in August 2016, Vanity Fair reported.
Zamel’s lawyer, Marc Mukasey denied that his client had ever discussed any specific proposals with Trump Jr. “Mr. Zamel never pitched, or otherwise discussed, any of Psy-Group’s proposals relating to the U.S. elections with anyone related to the Trump campaign, including . . . Donald Trump Jr., except for outlining the capabilities of some of his companies in general terms,” he said in a statement.
Sputnik interviewed investigative journalist Max Blumenthal according to whom, Gates was approached by Zamel who is supposedly very well connected to the Israeli lobby in the US.
Psy-Group “focuses on elections around the world and specifically interfering in them,” he added.
“What they pitched to Rick Gates — as a representative of the Trump campaign — at an August 3rd, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., was a $3 million persona management campaign that would have consisted of the creation of sock puppet accounts to influence Republican National Convention delegates against Ted Cruz and to carry out an intelligence operation — an unspecified intelligence operation, presumably including gray propaganda — against Hillary Clinton and her inner circle,” Blumenthal said, cited by Sputnik.
“What we have here is one of a dizzying array of cases of Israeli direct interference in America’s political system and more specifically in the 2016 elections,” Blumenthal said.
The report that Gates attempted to work with an Israeli firm to create a pro-Trump “troll farm,” as reported by Sputnik, is the latest in the “Israelgate” saga. Sputnik also cited journalists who claim that “Israelgate” is much more substantial than “Russiagate.”
— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) July 11, 2018
Paul Manafort, who was also indicted together with Rick Gates under Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the alleged Russian meddling in the elections, also colluded with an Israeli government official to spread allegations linking then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s rival Yulia Tymoshenko to antisemitism, prior to the 2016 Elections.
As reported by Sputnik:
“Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who took over the July 2016 Russia probe with the mandate of investigating “any links and/or coordination” (in a word: collusion) between Trump and Russia as well as any matters that “may arise directly from from the investigation” keeps “coming back to Israeli interference even though his job is supposed to be related to Russian interference, and it’s because of the preponderance of examples of Israeli interference,” Blumenthal said.
Israel lobby makes fake political Facebook pages during the election and nobody bats an eye, Russia is accused and we take down a bunch of Trump’s closest people, expel diplomats, impose sanctions, national hysteria ensues https://t.co/PfZpcefsc2
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) September 12, 2018
Former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn also admitted he lied about a phone call he made to the Russian Ambassador during the “transition period” and that his testimony would prove that Trump was colluding with the Russians, however no such thing happened. According to Blumenthal “Flynn was caught trying to influence Russia, not the other way around.”
It is interesting to note that, according to Sputnik, it had been revealed that Trump’s team hired another Israeli spy firm – Black Cube. It was supposedly hired in May 2017 to spy on former US President Obama’s aides who drafted the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or as it is called the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian probe is yet to determine any links whatsoever to Russia, however, there appear to be quite a few links to Israel. In spite of that, any outcome that does not implicate Russia and even, instead, implicates the US itself or Israel is instantly deemed uninteresting and is ignored.
As Blumenthal said in front of Sputnik: “What you have here, is basically a massive plan to influence America’s election through the kind of subterfuge we have heard Russia is planning, but it extends well beyond the kind of hacking that Russia is accused of. It’s just one more example of so many cases of Israeli influence.”