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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate