Trump Team Hired Firm to “Get Dirt” on Obama’s Iran Negotiators

Colin Kahl with President Obama aboard Air Force One in 2015. The rest of Obama's foreign policy team is now insanely jealous of Kahl, wondering why they didn't make Trump's enemies list.Pete Souza/The White House/ZUMAPRESS

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On Saturday the Guardian Observer ran a story saying that Team Trump had hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a “dirty ops” campaign against some of the Obama folks who helped negotiate the Iran deal:

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….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.

The story was just vague enough that I put it on the back burner, waiting to see if anyone else corroborated it. And someone did. Here’s a Twitter thread that Colin Kahl posted last night:

The worst part of this is yet to come. That will be when this gets more attention and all the usual slimeballs chime in to say that there was nothing wrong with this at all. Oppo research is a normal part of politics, and checking to see if the Iran negotiators had a personal stake in the deal is perfectly reasonable. Nothing to see here, folks.

I can hardly wait.

UPDATE: The latest development is that Trump probably hired the same firm that Harvey Weinstein used to dig up dirt on the women he assaulted. However, they deny it.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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