The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow and Adam Entous reported over the weekend that officials at the highest level of Trump administration circulated a memo claiming a group of former Obama officials were behind "coordinated attacks" against U.S. President Donald Trump.
Farrow connects the memo, which reportedly circulated the White House and National Security Council in the early days of the Trump administration, to the Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube.
Farrow told CNN Friday, "What is interesting is that the internal documents used by [Black Cube] use exactly the same contents and language in this memo that circulated around the White House."
"Black Cube is an Israeli private intelligence firm, they did do work with Harvey Weinstein. They secretly recorded women, tracked women, and used front companies and false identities to go after them," he said. "In a very unusual turn of events, they were doing a similar operation aimed at undermining former Obama officials who were proponents of the Iran deal. They were using again false identities and front companies, going after these peoples' wives, usual sexual blackmail on them," he added.
Farrow writes in the New Yorker, “In May 2017 Black Cube, provided its operatives with instructions and other briefing materials that included the same ideas and names discussed in the memo.”
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He claims that documents obtained by The New Yorker list Ben Rhodes, a former deputy national-security adviser to President Obama, as “likely the brain behind this operation” and Colin Kahl, arguing that they were using allies in the media to undermine the Trump Administration.
According to the report, the Black Cube documents use the term “echo chamber” five times, including in a document describing the operatives’ directive as “Investigating the Rhodes’ / Kahl ‘Eco-chamber.’ ”
Rhodes, speaking to MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, denied being the brain behind an alleged effort to undermine Trump’s foreign policy and warned about what he says are the real dangers of top officials “concocting conspiracy theories.”
Black Cube, according to the report, compiled a list of nine reporters and commentators it claimed were part of the Echo Chamber, including The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, The New York Times’s Max Fisher, and NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell. Fisher is described as having “heavily advocated” for the Iran deal and “placed himself at the service of Rhodes’s ‘Eco-chamber,’” while Mitchell is at one point identified as being a “vessel for Rhodes’s ‘eco-chamber.’”
In a statement, Black Cube denied the report, saying, “Black Cube does not get involved in politics, and has no relation whatsoever to the Trump administration, to Trump aides, to anyone close to the administration, or to the Iran Nuclear deal. Black Cube is not aware of the documents mentioned in this article, neither their contents.”