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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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