A company run by former Israeli spies reportedly tried to influence a local US election — and courted Trump’s campaign

Texas Voting 2016

An Israeli private spy company attempted to influence a local US election as part of a larger attempt to infiltrate American politics, according to a report from The New Yorker.
They used fake websites, social-media posts, and staged interactions as part of an effort to influence the public perception of specific targets, the report said.
The group tried numerous times to work with Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016 and engaged in other efforts that targeted the US State Department, the report said.

Psy-Group, a defunct private intelligence agency staffed with former Israeli spies, attempted to influence at least one local US election and other domestic affairs, according to a report from The New Yorker’s Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow. The company even courted President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and is now under investigation by the special counsel Robert Mueller, the report said.

The company attempted to pitch to the Trump campaign through advisers Newt Gingrich, Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr., but was eventually rebuffed by the campaign’s digital director, Brad Parscale.

But according to the report, Psy-Group wasn’t finished there. The company went on to use fake websites, online avatars, and staged in-person interactions as part of an effort to influence the results of local elections or change the perception of certain events in the US, at the behest of a series of private clients.

The revelation shows that the disturbing efforts to influence US elections weren’t limited to the 2016 presidential election and that state actors weren’t the only perpetrators.

Psy-Group was reportedly paid $230,000 to influence the election of a California hospital board

The Tulare Local Healthcare District board election in Tulare, California, in 2017 was the primary subject of Farrow and Entous’ investigation and was the focus of a $230,000 campaign by Psy-Group.

Psy-Group was paid by the physician Yorai Benzeevi, who ran the …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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