Trump aide sought social media manipulation from Israeli intelligence firm


The meeting allegedly took place in August 2016 after Donald Trump's top campaign aide, Rick Gates, requested proposals from Psy-Group to help defeat Republican primary opponents and Clinton with online manipulation.

Gates "sought one proposal to use bogus personas to target and sway 5,000 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention by attacking Sen".

While Gates ultimately rejected the proposals, according to the Monday report, Psy-Group head Joel Zamel apparently outlined the idea to Trump's son Donald Trump a August 3, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

Gates is Trump's former deputy campaign chief, and among more than 30 individuals - including other ex-administration officials - indicted by Mueller.

A third proposal outlined a months-long effort to use social media to expose or amplify division among rival campaigns and factions, The New York Times said.

'We will prioritize the targets to focus on (only undecided / unknown, attempt to convert identified Bear supporters, fortify contact with and affirm decision of Lion supporters, etc.),' the Psy-Group's proposal reads. The price for Psy-Group's services was set at more than $3 million United States dollars, according to the report.

There was no evidence that the Trump campaign followed through on the proposals to use social media manipulation and intelligence gathering. The Mueller investigation has questioned members of Psy-Group in relation to this particular meeting.

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The FBI presented a court order to Israeli police and the Israeli Ministry of Justice to confiscate Psy-Group's computers after interviewing employees at the company.

"Mr. Zamel never pitched, or otherwise discussed, any of Psy-Group's proposals relating to the USA elections with anyone related to the Trump campaign, including not with Donald Trump Jr., except for outlining the capabilities of some of his companies in general terms", Mukasey added.

Psy-Group is now in liquidation. Gates pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel's probe.

He called out the Democrat for drawing comparisons with them, seemingly baiting him into calling for sanctions against long-time USA ally Israel for "attempted collusion with foreigners".

The report notes that the work sought from the Israeli company went beyond typical campaign efforts to use social media to influence voters.

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