Three different Trump campaign associates sought help before 2016 from data firm tied to Israeli spies - and Mueller wants to know why

Three different Trump campaign associates sought help before 2016 from data firm tied to Israeli spies  -  and Mueller wants to know why

At least three members of Donald Trump’s campaign staff contacted a social media manipulation firm with ties to Israeli intelligence — and special counsel Robert Mueller wants to know why.


Rick Gates, the president’s deputy campaign chairman who has accepted a cooperation agreement with Mueller, reportedly reached out to the intelligence-gathering data firm Psy Group for help during the 2016 presidential campaign, reported The Daily Beast.

But the website has learned that at least two other campaign associates who claimed to be part of Trump’s inner circle also contacted the firm.

Former employees were reluctant to name those campaign associates in fear of retribution from their colleagues and scrutiny from Mueller, who has interviewed numerous Psy Group employees in his widening probe of foreign election interference.

The firm is owned by Joel Zamel, an Australian national who also owns the private intelligence group Wikistrat — and who was interviewed several months ago by Mueller’s office.

Zamel maintained contacts with Trump associates — including Erik Prince, Donald Trump Jr. and George Nader — during the campaign and after the election.

Investigators are also interested in interactions between John Hannah, who served as a Cheney adviser and worked on Trump’s State Department transition team, and Zamel and the Lebanese-American businessman Nader.

Hannah, Nader and Zamel reportedly met with a top Saudi general shortly before Trump was inaugurated to discuss plans to overthrow the government of Iran.

Current and former Psy Group employees told The Daily Beast they do not know whether Zamel developed his own operation related to the Trump campaign.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.