Media Analysis

Israeli official offered Trump campaign ‘critical intell’ to avoid defeat in 2016 — FBI doc

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Here’s a delicious story that is not likely to get any pickup from the American mainstream obsessed with Russian interference: evidence that Trump’s friend Roger Stone was in touch with high Israeli officials in the runup to the 2016 election to discuss efforts to help Trump win. One official says “we have critical intell” that can help Trump avoid “defeat.”

The declassified FBI affidavit is a smoking gun insmuch as it reveals an apparent willingness on the part of high Israeli officials, including those close to the “PM” — Benjamin Netanyahu — to interfere in the election on behalf of Donald Trump. At least one of these officials met with Trump in July 2016 at the St. Regis in New York.

The evidence of any actual interference is largely suggestive. It includes such lines as these:

[Trump ally Jerome] CORSI told STONE that they needed to meet with [Redacted] to determine “what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct.”..

[Apparent Israeli official, name redacted] messaged STONE, “Roger-As per PM we have one last shot before moving on. Can you deliver? History will not forgive us. TRUMP IN FREE FALL. OCTOBER SURPRISE COMrNG !..

[Apparent Israeli official, name redacted] messaged STONE, “Roger, hello from Jerusalem. Any progress? He is going to be defoated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands!

The affidavit shows that the FBI regarded these contacts as possibly criminal. The real question here is whether the American media or politicians will pay any attention to the Israeli contacts, even as the Russia hysteria mounts in advance of the general election.

Israeli influence over Trump has been shown before. In December 2016, after Trump had won the election, “multiple” Trump aides reached out to foreign countries “to support Israel” and block the Obama administration plan to allow a UN Security Council resolution condeming Israeli settlements to go through. Former Trump aide Mike Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the effort. The resolution went through.

The Times of Israel has the fullest coverage of the latest FBI information. It captures the vagueness of the document:

The FBI material, which is heavily redacted, includes one explicit reference to Israel and one to Jerusalem, and a series of references to a minister, a cabinet minister, a “minister without portfolio in the cabinet dealing with issues concerning defense and foreign affairs,” the PM, and the Prime Minister. In all these references the names and countries of the minister and prime minister are redacted.

It appears that Stone’s correspondents include high Israeli officials. The Times of Israel says that the PM is clearly Netanyahu and speculates that the unnamed minister was Tzachi Hanegbi, a minister without portfolio with responsibility for foreign affairs. As Politico writes:

“The newly revealed messages… show Stone in touch with seemingly high-ranking Israeli officials attempting to arrange meetings with Trump during the heat of the 2016 campaign.”

The FBI affidavit for a search warrant was filed in 2018. It was released two days ago in federal court in response to a suit by the Associated Press.

The heavily-redacted document quotes a lot of Roger Stone’s emails and text messages during the 2016 campaign, when Trump’s longtime friend, now serving a prison term for lying to Congress, was said to be working with Julian Assange of Wikileaks to encourage publication of emails from the Democratic National Committee allegedly hacked by Russians.

What follows are excerpts of the affidavit with references to officials who are evidently Israeli, but whose names are redacted.

These tantalizing references also refer to a military figure getting a meeting with Trump at the same time as the unnamed official.

On or about June 21, 2016, [Redacted] messaged STONE, “RS: Secret CabinetMinister in NYC Sat. June 25. Available for DJT meeting. ” According to publicly-availabe information, during this time [Redacted] was a Minister without portfolio in the cabinet dealing with issues concerning defense and foreign affairs.

On or about June 25, 2016, [redacted] messaged Stone, “Roger, Minister left.
Sends greetings from PM. When am I meeting DJT? Should I stay or leave Sunday as planned? Hope you are well. “

On or about June 28, 2016, messaged STONE, “RETURNING TO DC AFTER URGENT CONSULTATIONS WITH PM IN ROME.MUST MEET WITH YOU WED. EVE AND WITH DJ TRUMP THURSDAY IN NYC.

The Times of Israel says that PM is surely Netanyahu — he was in Rome on June 28.

But that June Trump had to clear his schedule due to a “money crisis,” Stone wrote; so he set up the meeting for July 6 in New York. “Sorry this took so long. R.”

On July 5, 2016, [Redacted] messaged STONE, “Roger, I am here, ready for the meeting with DJ Trump at 1PM tomorrow. Let’s you and I meet at 10.30AM at the St. Regis Lobby. Thank you. “

On July 6, 2016, [Redacted] messaged STONE, “At St Regis With Lt General.
Waiting For You Thank You. ”

Stone wrote back that he was too ill to travel and that Jerome Corsi would bring the officials in to meet Trump. Corsi, an author close to the Trump campaign, is said to have had knowledge of the Wikileaks document dumps.

The messages from an Israeli contact take on greater urgency in August, suggesting some sort of scheme in the works.

On August 20, 2016, CORSI told STONE that they needed to meet with [Redacted] to determine “what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct.”

On or about August 9, 2016, [Redacted] messaged STONE, “Roger-As per PM
we have one last shot before moving on. Can you deliver? History will not forgive us. TRUMP IN FREE FALL. OCTOBER SURPRISE COMrNG !

On or about August 12, 2016, [Redacted] messaged STONE, “Roger, hello from Jerusalem. Any progress? He is going to be defoated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week. How is your Pneumonia? Thank you.

STONE replied, “I am well. Matters complicated. Pondering. R.”

[Redacted] wrote back, “Thank You.” No additional messages appear in STONE’s iCloud between STONE and [Redacted] until October 30, 2016.

On that occasion, a week before the election, the go-between had met with Trump.

On October 30, 2016, [Redacted] messaged STONE: “Roger, you are doing a great job ! ! ! I am in NY-met with DJT and helping. Victory is in sight. HK says hello. Thanks”

There is no more information about “HK.”

Four days later a Stone correspondent, whose identity is redacted, describes secret tapes from a European country that will “DESTROY objective” and seeks to arrange a meeting with Stone to be joined with a “4 star General.”

Thanks to James North and Adam Horowitz.