Seth Abramson Shows How Ronan Farrow’s Psy-Group Article Nails Trump’s Collusion With Russia

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Fox Business / YouTube Trump Russia collusion No evidence found...
Fox Business / YouTube

Attorney and author of “Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America,” Seth Abramson, cites a recent piece of writing on Psy-Group by Pulitzer Prize winner Ronan Farrow as being the final nail in the Trump Russia coffin, conclusively proving up Trump collusion with Russia.  Abramson also goes on to reiterate that the information in Farrow’s article and in this Twitter thread has been known for some time to himself and those who are following the six-person timeline of Trump, Rybolovev, Manafort, Deripaska, Zamel, and Nader. Abramson also says that this is the direction that Robert Mueller has been heading for some time.

The paragraph quoted above is part of the New Yorker article cited to below, after Abramson’s thread.

The article that Abramson is referencing is Ronan Farrow and Adam Entous’ piece in the February 18 and 25 edition of the New Yorker:

Psy-Group stood out from many of its rivals because it didn’t just gather intelligence; it specialized in covertly spreading messages to influence what people believed and how they behaved. Its operatives took advantage of technological innovations and lax governmental oversight. “Social media allows you to reach virtually anyone and to play with their minds,” Uzi Shaya, a former senior Israeli intelligence officer, said. “You can do whatever you want. You can be whoever you want. It’s a place where wars are fought, elections are won, and terror is promoted. There are no regulations. It is a no man’s land.” […]

Psy-Group’s larger ambition was to break into the U.S. election market. During the 2016 Presidential race, the company pitched members of Donald Trump’s campaign team on its ability to influence the results. Psy-Group’s owner, Joel Zamel, even asked Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, to offer Zamel’s services to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. The effort to drum up business included brash claims about the company’s skills in online deception. The posturing was intended to attract clients—but it also attracted the attention of the F.B.I. Robert Mueller, the special counsel, has been examining the firm’s activities as part of his investigation into Russian election interference and other matters.

Psy-Group’s talks with Benzeevi, after the 2016 election, spurred the company to draw up a plan for developing more business at the state and local levels. No election was too small. One company document reported that Psy-Group’s influence services cost, on average, just three hundred and fifty thousand dollars—as little as two hundred and seventy-five dollars an hour. The new strategy called for pitching more than fifty individuals and groups, including the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and major super pacs. The firm published a provocative brochure featuring an image of a goldfish with a shark fin tied to its back, below the tagline “Reality is a matter of perception.” Another brochure showed a cat that cast a lion’s shadow and listed “honey traps” among the firm’s services. (In the espionage world, a honey trap often involves deploying a sexually attractive operative to induce a target to provide information.)

And here are some other names that you will recognize.

Early in 2016, a Republican consultant with ties to the Israeli government put Psy-Group in touch with Rick Gates, a senior Trump campaign official. Eager to secure a potentially lucrative project, Burstien drew up plans for an intelligence and influence campaign to promote Trump and undermine his rivals, first in the Republican primary and then in the general election. […]

Zamel had another opportunity to pitch his services in early August, 2016, when Erik Prince, the founder of the Blackwater security firm, helped arrange a meeting at Trump Tower among Zamel, Nader, and Donald Trump, Jr. (Prince, whose sister Betsy DeVos became Trump’s Education Secretary, was a major Trump donor and had access to members of his team.) In the meeting, Zamel told Trump, Jr., that he supported his father’s campaign, and talked about Psy-Group’s influence operations. (Zamel’s lawyer, Marc Mukasey, played down the encounter, insisting that Zamel made no formal proposals during the meeting.)

Psy-Group is a pernicious presence, with its tentacles in many pies. If Abramson is right about Mueller following Psy-Group’s activities, especially with respect to Russian interference in the 2016 election, then things could conceivably get very interesting, very fast, with respect to the Trump Russia investigation.

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True Patriot

Excellent reporting, thank you!