Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump aide 'sought Israeli help' against rival campaigns

Trump aide 'sought Israeli help' against rival campaigns

That's according to The New York Times, which reports Gates contacted Psy-Group, a company staffed by former Israeli intelligence agents, seeking ways to undermine Hillary Clinton's campaign.

The first of three proposals. called "Project Rome" was one which would have used fake social media profiles to sway 5,000 Republican delegates away from Ted Cruz and towards Donald Trump.

In the document, Trump was code-named "Lion" and Clinton was "Forest".

As part of the Mueller probe, Gates pled guilty previous year to charges of conspiracy against the United States and making false statements, related to the work his former boss and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort did in Ukraine. The campaign official, Rick Gates, was ultimately not interested in the company's work, a person with knowledge of the discussions told the Times.

A third proposal by Psy-Group outlined a plan to use social media to expose or amplify division among rival campaigns and factions, the Times reports. The second proposal was for opposition research with "complementary intelligence activities" on Hillary Clinton and people close to her. And as we now know, political data firm Cambridge Analytica also aided the Trump campaign with information from more than 50 million Facebook users.

Cruz, who was the favored candidate among the party, was code-named "Bear".

The messages would describe Mr. Cruz's "ulterior motives or hidden plans", or they would appear to come from former Cruz supporters or from influential individuals with the same background or ideology as a target.

Gates pleaded guilty this year, and is cooperating with the investigation.

While the media has been focussed on Russia's social media manipulation and election interference efforts in 2016, it appears that Russian Federation was not the only ones trying to distort America's views with fake social media profiles.

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.

NYT said there is no evidence that the Trump campaign followed through on the proposals to use social media manipulation and intelligence gathering.

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