Top Rand Paul aide working on Bibi’s reelection

A top aide for Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSecond GOP senator to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus GOP senator to quarantine after coronavirus exposure The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill MORE (R-Ky.) is working on the reelection effort for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE

Vincent Harris, Paul's top digital strategist, has been working for Netanyahu's Likud political party for more than six weeks, according to The Jerusalem Post


“I love Israel, and I am excited to be here to help the Likud and the prime minister use digital media in an effective and forward-looking manner,” the Austin-based strategist told the newspaper. 

Harris has helped with digital efforts for Paul, a likely presidential contender, since November. He previously worked on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) reelection campaign and Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) 2012 Senate bid. 

The strategist denied McConnell or Cruz sent him to Israel to work on Netanyahu's reelection. 

“I have not spoken to Senator Cruz or to Mitch McConnell about my job here,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “My Israeli work is completely separate from my work in the US."

Last week, Cruz wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry inquiring whether the OneVoice Movement, a U.S.-funded nonprofit, was using taxpayer funds to support another organization that is campaigning against Netanyahu's reelection. 

Republican leaders have also faced pushback after Netanyahu agreed to address Congress next month, just two weeks before he faces reelection. 

Harris, who did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill, noted in The Jerusalem Post report that U.S. strategists have helped Netanyahu since 1996. 

Harris has other clients in addition to Paul's RAND PAC, executive director Doug Stafford noted in an email to The Hill.

At least one other U.S. political consultant is working on the current Israeli election. Jeremy Bird, President Obama's 2012 national field director, is advising groups looking to oust the Israeli leader. 

As for Paul, the Kentucky senator has moved toward launching his own 2016 presidential bid, introducing a pro-Israel bill last month to cut off U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority.