Trump's Aides Hired Israeli Spy Team to Help Discredit American Negotiators of the Iran Deal: Report

The Guardian reports that although Donald Trump and his team have access to all the resources of a presidency, it's still not enough: In an effort to bolster their bid to withdraw from the multilateral Iran nuclear deal, the Trump team hired an Israeli-based agency to probe for secret "dirt" they could use against the American officials who negotiated it.

Aides to Donald Trump, the US president, hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a “dirty ops” campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, the Observer can reveal.

People in the Trump camp contacted private investigators in May last year to “get dirt” on Ben Rhodes, who had been one of Barack Obama’s top national security advisers, and Colin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama, as part of an elaborate attempt to discredit the deal.

[...] A source with details of the “dirty tricks campaign” said: “The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it.”

This is, not to put too fine a point on it, insane. Donald Trump's team went to foreign agents to request espionage efforts be made against members of the administration they replaced so that, in their thinking, the Americans involved in the nuclear deal would be discredited?

The Trump White House appears to stumble into authoritarian—or mobster—behavior at every possible turn. This is going to be yet another bizarre thread to unravel: Just who, on the Trump team, floated the idea of hiring a foreign intelligence firm to act against members of the previous U.S. government? How many additional aides signed off on it? What was Trump’s own role?

How do you even come up with such an extravagantly malevolent idea, much less get enough internal administration support to actually undertake such a thing?

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.