Rick Gates, the former deputy chairman of the Trump Campaign was allegedly in contact with an Israeli intelligence firm about a social-media disinformation campaign targeted at Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton and to the benefit of Trump, according to the New York Times.
According to the NYT, Rick Gates contacted a company called Psy-Group which is filled with former Israeli intelligence operatives and offered results using social media tactics, for which traditionally Russia was accused during the 2016 Presidential Election.
A different proposal offered opposition research about Hillary Clinton and people close to her.
A third one described a long-term plan to use social media to expose divides in rival campaigns.
Together, the proposals were labeled “Project Rome,” and referred to Trump, Clinton, and Cruz “Lion,” “Forest,” and “Bear,” respectively. In total, the work would have cost the Trump campaign $3 million. According to NYT, Gates’ lawyer declined to comment.
According to the NYT, Special Counsel Robert Mueller who investigates the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 Elections have obtained the three proposals and have also questioned Psy-Group employees.
There is, however, no evidence that any of the proposals were utilized. However as reported by NYT in May 2018, Donald Trump Jr. did, in fact, meet with Joel Zamel, the head of Psy-Group. In addition, George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman and adviser to Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos were also in attendance at Trump Tower in August 2016, Vanity Fair reported.