Israeli firm pitched social media manipulation to Trump campaign

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

An Israeli private intelligence firm produced three separate proposals to manipulate social media in the United States and spread misinformation for the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential elections, according to a new report.

There is no evidence Trump's campaign acted on any of the proposals by Psy-Group, a company staffed by former Israeli intelligence operatives, the Times reports, citing interviews and copies of the proposals the paper obtained. The proposal requests included the creation of fake online identities and gathering intelligence to help Donald Trump defeat his Republican opponents and ultimately Hillary Clinton.

The Times reports that the Israeli company's pitches appear unconnected to Moscow's interference campaign.

According to The New York Times, Psy-Group's owner, Joel Zamel, met with Trump Jr to propose "Project Rome".

'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.

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Richard Gates leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, DC, after a hearing on February 23, 2018.

Then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, October 9, 2016. Gates was indicted along with Paul Manafort in 2017 and is cooperating with the Mueller investigation which is focusing on an alleged $2 million payment to Zamel from George Nader, which came shortly after the 2016 election.

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A third proposal by Psy-Group outlined a plan to use social media to expose or amplify division among rival campaigns and factions, the Times reports.

Psy-Group claimed that it would provide "all services in accordance with the laws and regulations of the country/ies in which they are conducted".

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