Rick Gates Solicited Proposal For Online Disinformation Campaign to Help Trump

Lester Mason
October 9, 2018

Robert Mueller is looking into the Trump campaign's discussions with an Israeli intelligence firm to go after opponents in the 2016 election campaign, reports the New York Times.

According to the New York Times, who obtained copies of three different proposals and spoke to four people involved in creating the proposals, Trump campaign official Rick Gates sought out an Israeli firm called Psy-Group, which is staffed by multiple former Israeli intelligence agents, for three separate proposals.

There was also a proposal "using social media to help expose or amplify division among rival campaigns and factions"--one that involved nicknames like "Lion" for Trump, "Forest" for Hillary Clinton, and "Bear" for Ted Cruz.

Another campaign would use the same tactic to target female minorities in the suburbia in swing states to push them toward Trump and away from Clinton.

The Times reports that the Israeli company's pitches appear unconnected to Moscow's interference campaign.

Richard Gates leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, DC, after a hearing on February 23, 2018. It promised to create and maintain fake online personas that would deliver messages highlighting Mr. Trump's merits and Mrs. Clinton's weaknesses or revealing "rifts and rivalries within the opposition".

Even if the Psy-Group's plans were ultimately discarded, Gates's solicitation of the company shows the Trump campaign's willingness to play dirty online. Nader and Zamel have provided differing accounts for the reason behind the payment.

The August 3 Trump Tower meeting is a focus of the ongoing investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, who was tasked a year ago with examining possible cooperation and coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation in the lead-up to the election. Robert Mueller and the Special Counsel's office are now investigating these proposals according to the New York Times.

Mr. Zamel's attorney told The Times the meeting at Trump Tower was just to outline the company's capabilities in "general terms". "He was not interested and that was the end of it".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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