January 30, 2023

New reports show Israel was caught planting bugs at the White House and Trump did nothing

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In a stunning show of disrespect and overreach, POLITICO is reporting that our Israeli allies have been discovered placing surveillance devices near the White House in an attempt to spy on President Trump and other top government officials — and the Trump administration did nothing with this information.


The discovery is just the latest in a series of betrayals from the nation to which we have given $121 billion in aid since the Second World War.

Daniel Lippman reports that “the miniature surveillance devices, colloquially known as ‘StingRays,’ mimic regular cell towers to fool cellphones into giving them their locations and identity information. Formally called international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use.

The devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates — though it’s not clear whether the Israeli efforts were successful.

One former senior intelligence official noted that after the FBI and other agencies concluded that the Israelis were most likely responsible for the devices, the Trump administration took no action to punish or even privately scold the Israeli government.”

“No consequences” for Israel’s behavior has been a defining theme of the Trump administration, which is so beholden to the rabid far-right wing evangelical-Zionist lobby that there appears to be no act heinous enough to trigger a response from the Trump team, be it catching them violating our trust or gunning down peaceful Palestinian protestors by the dozens.

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Trump has gone out of his way to accommodate Israel’s far-right government, enabling their slow but sure erosion of any hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict with the oppressed Palestinian population. He has turned a blind eye to the horrific human rights violations the IDF commits on a weekly basis, on top of making the controversial move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and tearing up President Obama’s Iranian peace deal to satisfy Israel’s corrupt, Islamophobic, and imperialist Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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Trump has been repaid by having his own allies spy on him, humiliate him in front of the world, and publicly refuse to allow two U.S. congresswomen to visit their country.

Calls within the Democratic Party to re-evaluate the United States’ relationship with Israel are growing louder with each new overstep by the Netanyahu government, and it’s hard to see how this will be received with anything other than more frustration and anger from a Democratic Party growing increasingly tiresome of Israel’s reckless behavior. The Republicans, of course, will continue to enable them the same way they give a pass to Trump for everything he says and does.

Original reporting by Daniel Lippman at POLITICO.

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Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.

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