Did Trump Hire An Israeli Agency To Target Obama Officials?

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Written by Ann Brown

Did Trump hire an Israeli intelligence agency to dig into the lives of Obama administration offices over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal?

According to some reports, he might have. The intelligence firm Black Cube was hired to spy on women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, a New Yorker article reports.

Black Cube was also hired to uncover damning information about Ben Rhodes, who was a national security advisor to President Barack Obama and Colin Kahl, Obama’s former deputy assistant.

The New Yorker was following up a report on by Britain’s Observer newspaper that said an unidentified Israeli firm had been hired by aides to President Donald Trump “to orchestrate a ‘dirty ops’ campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal” signed in 2015,” CNBC reported.

Gage Skidmore

The Observer found that Black Cube was directed by Trump affiliates in May 2017 to “get dirt” on Rhodes and Kahl. This is the same firm that was retained by Weinstein’s attorney, David Boies, in 2016 as part of an effort to prevent publication of stories about Weinstein allegedly abusing multiple women, The New Yorker first reported last fall, CNBC reported.

Black Cube is adept at undercover operations. For example, an investigator from Black Cube pretended to be a women’s rights advocate and the agent secretly recorded several meetings with Rose McGowan, the actress who accused Weinstein of raping her, according to New York magazine.

Black Cube had similar tactics with the wives of both Rhodes and Kahl, who each received strange emails last spring.

“Those emails, purportedly written by a filmmaker in one case, and a wealth management firm executive in the second case, attempted to establish ongoing contact with the wives,” CNBC reported. Even more interesting is that the emails sent to the wives “in some cases used almost identical language” as emails sent to McGowan from the same wealth management firm that the Black Cube operative used as a cover for contact with the actress, according to The New Yorker.

While there are some questions about who actually hired Black Cube to look into the Obama staff,  the Observer reports that an Israeli intelligence firm was hired by aides to President Trump, “who 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.”

According to Observer sources, Trump’s team had contacted Black Cube just days after he visited Israel in May 2017. “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,” a source told the newspaper.

However, a Black Cube spokesman told NPR that the firm was never hired by anyone within the Trump administration.