Trump Team Sought Israeli Firm's Help to Defeat 'Bear'

Howard TerryOct 12, 2018

According to the report, Psy-Group, which employed former Israeli intelligence officers before undergoing liquidation, offered to engineer campaigns in support of Trump using social media manipulation against both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and Republican Senator Ted Cruz, whom the campaign feared could attempt to push an insurgent nomination effort at the Republican Convention in Cleveland. Donald Trump was known as "Lion" Cruz was "Bear" and Clinton was referred to as "Forest".

Gates and Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, were indicted by the special counsel past year on charges of fraud and tax evasion. The contacts between Gates and the Israeli company were first reported on Tuesday by the New York Times. The third and final proposal sought to use social media to amplify divisions within rival campaigns, while amplifying those division using fake social media accounts. "Another proposal describes opposition research and "complementary intelligence activities" about Mrs. Clinton and people close to her". The plan used code names for all the relevant players.

'Each target will already have a general and actionable intelligence dossier as a product of the initial mapping stage, and during this phase additional information will be collected as needed, ' the proposal continued.

The August 3 Trump Tower meeting is a focus of the ongoing investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, who was tasked past year with examining possible cooperation and coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation in the lead-up to the election.

Investigators working for Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia's campaign to disrupt the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates conspired, have obtained copies of the proposals and questioned Psy-Group employees, according to people familiar with those interviews.

At the meeting, Birnbaum recalls that Gates was interested in using social media manipulation and influence to sway Republican delegates away from primary challenger Cruz. "Though the Israeli company's pitches were narrower than Moscow's interference campaign and appear unconnected, the documents show that a senior Trump aide saw the promise of a disruption effort to swing voters in Mr. Trump's favor", the New York Times says.

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