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Reports: Israeli intel firm dug up dirt on Obama officials to discredit Iran nuclear deal

An Israeli private intelligence firm was reportedly hired to dig up dirt on Obama administration officials who worked...

Posted: May 8, 2018 9:58 AM
Updated: May 8, 2018 9:58 AM

An Israeli private intelligence firm was reportedly hired to dig up dirt on Obama administration officials who worked on the Iran nuclear deal in an effort to undermine the agreement.

The operation was reported by the Observer in London and the New Yorker. The revelations come as the Trump administration faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether to continue waiving sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the 2015 Iran deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

The Observer reported that aides to President Trump hired Black Cube "to orchestrate a 'dirty ops' campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration." A source told the New Yorker that the operation was "part of Black Cube's work for a private-sector client pursuing commercial interested related to sanctions on Iran."

The company, Black Cube, refuted the report.

"Black Cube has no relation whatsoever to the Trump administration, to Trump aides, to anyone close to the administration, or to the Iran nuclear deal. Anyone who claims otherwise is misleading their readers and viewers," the firm said in a statement obtained by CNN.

It also said it won't discuss clients with any third party and that its policy is "to never confirm or deny any speculation made with regard to the company's work."

The Observer quoted "incendiary documents" in which the firm asked investigators to dig into the personal and political lives of Ben Rhodes, Obama's national security adviser, and Colin Kahl, an Obama aide and Joe Biden, the former vice president.

The New Yorker reported that both Rhodes' and Kahl's wives were targeted by emails from nonexistent companies soliciting information.

The magazine reported that the operation "is strikingly similar to an operation that Black Cube ran on behalf of Harvey Weinstein," the Hollywood producer facing allegations of sexual harassment.

Kahl wrote on Twitter on Sunday: "CONFIRMED: The Israeli intel firm Black Cube used to go after Harvey Weinstein's accusers also targeted me & @brhodes (& our families)."

"Despite Black Cube's BS dodge/denial , the evidence shows they went after me by targeting my wife & attempting to collect derogatory evidence with the goal of arming *someone* with info to discredit proponents of the Iran Deal," Kahl tweeted.

The New Yorker report said, "Transcripts produced by Black Cube reveal that the firm secretly recorded a conversation" between Triti Parsi, an author and president of the National Iranian-American Council, and one of its agents.

Parsi posted a thread to Twitter reacting to the revelation. He said he was "angered and disturbed to find out this weekend that I was targeted by Black Cube (former Mossad operatives) and their efforts to discredit Obama officials and supporters of the Iran Deal."

Parsi described a "pretend journalist" who "tried to goad me into agreeing" that the Obama administration "pursued the nuclear deal for economic and financial reason."

"I had seen no evidence to suggest that in my research. On the contrary," he said.

He said he didn't think much of the interview until the weekend, when he found out the interviewer was an intelligence operative, not a journalist.

"But it does fit a long-standing pattern in which proponents of war have engaged in extensive efforts to discredit and silence voices in favor of a diplomatic solution with Iran," Parsi said.

Black Cube said in its statement: "Luckily, the Mossad and the CIA are capable to deal with the Iran Nuclear deal and other issues of national security without relying on the expertise of Black Cube. It is important to note that Black Cube always operates in full compliance of the law in every jurisdiction in which it conducts its work, following legal advice from the world's leading law firms."

CNN has asked and is waiting for the White House to comment on the reports.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 294994

Reported Deaths: 6681
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19672230
Hinds18799386
Harrison16710278
Rankin12685264
Jackson12592226
Lee9687160
Madison9457199
Jones7962146
Forrest7208136
Lauderdale6833226
Lowndes6022137
Lamar588080
Lafayette5733113
Washington5218130
Bolivar4609123
Oktibbeha441393
Panola430394
Pearl River4167130
Warren4129114
Pontotoc408869
Marshall403192
Monroe3989126
Union395374
Neshoba3807168
Lincoln3541102
Hancock347374
Leflore3375118
Sunflower318386
Tate302474
Pike300195
Scott293870
Alcorn291861
Itawamba289975
Yazoo289262
Tippah278765
Copiah277857
Coahoma277568
Simpson274878
Prentiss269758
Wayne253841
Marion252678
Leake252471
Covington248879
Grenada247377
Adams234377
George231745
Newton229652
Winston221675
Jasper213445
Tishomingo212365
Attala206569
Chickasaw201151
Holmes182270
Clay179150
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170539
Clarke169371
Calhoun157828
Smith152731
Yalobusha144836
Greene127633
Walthall124140
Noxubee122829
Montgomery122438
Perry121634
Lawrence120321
Carroll118225
Amite111533
Webster110630
Jefferson Davis101731
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93324
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77114
Franklin76119
Choctaw69516
Jefferson62527
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493769

Reported Deaths: 9931
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson710731374
Mobile36139727
Madison32425455
Tuscaloosa24184410
Montgomery22586500
Shelby21968215
Baldwin19758283
Lee14967153
Morgan13667251
Calhoun13300286
Etowah13184319
Marshall11262209
Houston10104261
Elmore9385185
Limestone9363134
Cullman8897181
St. Clair8827223
Lauderdale8607211
DeKalb8459175
Talladega7523163
Walker6524255
Jackson6495102
Autauga627091
Blount6102127
Colbert6004118
Coffee5249102
Dale4642107
Russell404930
Franklin399177
Covington3960106
Chilton3876100
Escambia377672
Tallapoosa3588142
Clarke343650
Chambers3413110
Dallas3403141
Pike293472
Lawrence283484
Marion281995
Winston246867
Bibb245060
Geneva239970
Marengo236455
Pickens224654
Barbour211651
Hale210568
Fayette200756
Butler196866
Henry182441
Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163740
Washington156535
Crenshaw144854
Clay144454
Macon142043
Cleburne137839
Lamar132833
Lowndes131151
Wilcox121825
Bullock116936
Conecuh106724
Perry105627
Sumter98531
Coosa88923
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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