Friday, 19 October, 2018

Trump campaign reportedly considered online manipulation plans during 2016 election

New York Times: Top Trump campaign official requested online manipulation plans from Israeli company Trump Campaign Aide Rick Gates Reportedly Sought Proposals on Online ‘Manipulation’ from Israeli Intel Firm in 2016
Faye Gross | 12 October, 2018, 04:23

Mueller's team has obtained copies of the proposals and questioned Psy-Group, the Times said, adding it was unclear whether the proposals would have violated laws governing foreign involvement in U.S. elections.

A top Trump campaign official requested online manipulation proposals by an Israeli intelligence firm in 2016 to help defeat Hillary Clinton and Republican primary opponents, The New York Times reports. The proposals, part of what Psy-Group called "Project Rome", used code names to identify the players - Trump was "Lion" and Clinton was "Forest".

NYT said there is no evidence that the Trump campaign followed through on the proposals to use social media manipulation and intelligence gathering. Ted Cruz (R-TX), then Trump's main Republican opponent, away from him and toward Trump.

As part of the Mueller probe, Gates pled guilty a year ago 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.

In this June 21, 2017, photo, special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. "Another proposal describes opposition research and "complementary intelligence activities" about Mrs. Clinton and people close to her".

SpaceX Launch - October 7
A bright light could be seen over the southern sky in northern Nevada on Sunday night, and it came courtesy of SpaceX . SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Reveals Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa Will Fly Around the Moon on the Big Falcon Rocket .


Several different proposals authored by the Israeli company, Psy-Group, have been discovered. The Times reports Psy-Group's owner pitched the proposals at a 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., United Arab Emirates adviser George Nader and Erik Prince, founder of the mercenary company Blackwater. Gates had joined the Trump campaign days earlier with Paul Manafort, his longtime business partner, to try to prevent a revolt of Republican delegates from Trump toward Cruz. Gates pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel's probe.

Mr. Zamel's attorney told The Times the meeting at Trump Tower was just to outline the company's capabilities in "general terms".

A lawyer for Zamel denied to the Times that he had discussed the proposal with anyone from the Trump campaign.

One was to use fake accounts to sway thousands of delegates.

The reason for the payment has been of keen interest to Mueller, according to people familiar with the matter.

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