Israeli investigators contracted to find personal and political information
Trump Staff Campaign v. Iran Deal Negotiators
Donald Trump’s aides hired an Israeli private intelligence agency for a “dirty tricks” campaign against officials from the Obama Administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal in 2015.
The Trump camp contacted the Israelis in May 2017 to “get dirt” on Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl, a national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden.
Sources said that Trump officials made the contact days after Trump visited Tel Aviv in his first foreign tour as US President. Trump promised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran will never have nuclear weapons and alleged that the Iranians thought they could “do what they want” after the deal.
One source explained, “The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it.”
Trump must decide by Saturday whether to extend waivers on sweeping Congressional sanctions. He is widely expected not to do so, effectively removing the US from the deal between Tehran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia).
Seeking Personal and Political “Dirt”
According to documents seen by London’s Observer newspaper, investigators were told to dig into the personal lives and
political careers of Rhodes and Kahl, included personal relationships, any involvement with Iran-friendly lobbyists, and any personal or political benefits from the deal.
The Trump team instructed the Israelis to contact prominent Iranian-Americans and pro-deal journalists from outlets such as The New York Times, MSNBC television, The Atlantic, the Vox website, and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Sources confirmed that an initial plan of attack was given to investigators, but it is unclear how much work was undertaken and for how long or how Trump staff used any material.
Premiums Rise Up to 64% in Virginia After Trump Weakens Obamacare
Healthcare premium in Virginia are rising up to 64% after the Trump Administration weakened Obamacare.
The Administration failed repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year; however, it included the removal of the individual mandate — requiring coverage — in its tax cut legislation in December.
Both Cigna and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield cited the repeal of the mandate as measures that prompted their increases for 2019.
Cigna is proposing an average rise of 15% for its 103,264 customers in Virginia, with a range from 6.4% to 40%.
CareFirst is proposing a 64% increase for approximately 4,500 Virginia customers.