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

The Trump White House appears to stumble into authoritarian—or mobster—behavior at every possible turn.

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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?

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