Trump official sought Israeli help to disrupt rival campaigns

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New York Times: Top Trump campaign official requested online manipulation plans from Israeli company

Zamel has been questioned by investigators for the special counsel, according to the reports, and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have traveled to Israel to interview employees about the proposal and have asked Israeli police to seize computers from Psy-Group's Petah Tikva offices.

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 third and final proposal sought to use social media to amplify divisions within rival campaigns, while amplifying those division using fake social media accounts. Ted Cruz of Texas, Trump's main opponent at the time, in order to sway 5,000 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Trump's favor.

There was no evidence that the Trump campaign followed through on the proposals to use social media manipulation and intelligence gathering.

Psy-Group created several secretive proposals for the Trump campaign at the behest of Rick Gates, who has since pleaded guilty and offered to cooperate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into foreign meddling in the United States election, The New York Times reported.

The Trump campaign's interest in the work began as Russians were escalating their effort to aid Trump. Cruz, who Trump campaign officials feared might lead a revolt over the Republican presidential nomination, was "Bear". Mueller has reportedly seen the plans and has questioned Psy-Group employees, per sources who spoke with the Times.

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In August 2016, Trump's oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., met with Psy-Group's owner Joel Zamel.

An additional proposal outlined conducting opposition research and "complementary intelligence activities" about Trump's Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton and those close to her.

Gates, along with Paul Manafort, were indicted for tax evasion and financial fraud last fall. The meeting also included Blackwater founder Erik Prince and George Nader, the adviser to the UAE Crown Prince and the go-between for Prince's meeting in the Seychelles with a powerful Russian businessman.

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

Gates sought one proposal to use fake online profiles to attack Republican Sen.

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