August 10, 2022

Trump’s “dirty ops” campaign against Obama officials and Iran deal just got exposed

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The President just got caught hiring an Israeli private intelligence company to manufacture “dirty ops” political propaganda against top Obama Administration veterans in a clandestine mission to discredit the Iran nuclear deal, which they helped forge and Trump desperately wants an excuse to terminate. President Obama’s Iran agreement known as the JCPOA restricts nuclear weapons development for a decade but comes up for renewal on May 12th.


Shockingly, President Trump hired a foreign, private dirty tricks squad to secretly undermine a sovereign agreement of the United States which required sustained international cooperation. His entire entanglement with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is due to his administration’s overly close relationships with the foreign leader, and Trump’s family ties that bind.

“These are extraordinary and appalling allegations,” Britain’s former foreign secretary Jack Straw told the Guardian by way of explanation, “but which also illustrate a high level of desperation by Trump and [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, not so much to discredit the deal but to undermine those around it.” The Guardian reports:

Sources said that officials linked to Trump’s team contacted investigators days after Trump visited Tel Aviv a year ago, his first foreign tour as US president.

People in the Trump camp 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 incendiary documents seen by the Observer, investigators contracted by the private intelligence agency were told to dig into [their] personal lives… Among other things they were looking at personal relationships, any involvement with Iran-friendly lobbyists, and if they had benefited personally or politically from the peace deal.

Colin Kahl left the Obama Administration for Stanford University and is a widely respected foreign policy expert who just published a lengthy column criticizing the President in the Washington Post just yesterday about the Iran deal, and also about North Korea.

Ben Rhodes runs the National Security Action PAC after serving as President Obama’s primary speechwriter from 2007 until the end of his presidency last year

One of the methods that Trump operatives deployed is eerily similar to the President’s false claims against ex-FBI Director James Comey today and the witch hunt that Comey legally ended against Hillary Clinton.

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Both were accused of mishandling unclassified documents, which were later deemed classified after they left government service, but not when they themselves generated the records. Using the Executive Classification system retroactively to pursue criminal matters is an authoritarian tactic.

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President Trump turned it into a clandestine presidential pet project, according to the Guardian:

Investigators were also apparently told to contact prominent Iranian Americans as well as pro-deal journalists – from the New York Times, MSNBC television, the Atlantic, Vox website and Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper among others – who had frequent contact with Rhodes and Kahl in an attempt to establish whether they had violated any protocols by sharing sensitive intelligence.

President Trump is closely aligned with Israeli President “Bibi” Netanyahu, a corrupt, likeminded racist, and Iran hardliner, whose party governs with a minority of the country’s votes and a teetering parliamentary majority coalition government.

Netanyahu faces imminent criminal corruption charges at home right now in a probe involving Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s former business partner James Packer, an Australian billionaire.

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Mnuchin isn’t Bibi’s only friend in the Trump Administration either.

White House advisor Jared Kushner may lack a security clearance in America, but one thing he does have is a lifelong personal friendship with Bibi. Kushner’s partner the Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz is also wrapped up in the same group of public corruption investigations against Bibi.

Nobody knows how far President Trump’s insane diplomatic mission to discredit the United States proceeded, what data was collected or if any further efforts were made to attack Rhodes and Kahl.

But Donald Trump is quickly ruining decades worth of diplomatic power by getting too close to the foreign leaders his family and cronies are friends with, and then by acting against American interests to please them and shamelessly doing it all with foreign spy companies for hire to attack our best public servants.

Worst of all, Trump’s entire disinformation operation was aimed at thwarting President Obama’s landmark Iran JCPOA agreement which the vast majority credible foreign policy experts and key partners like Germany’s Angela Merkel all agree is better than no deal at all.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also a mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition, and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.

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