Israeli private intel firm denies being hired to dig up dirt on ex-Obama officials

Israeli private intel firm denies being hired to dig up dirt on ex-Obama officials
© Getty Images

Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube denied on Sunday it had been tapped by aides to President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver dead at 77 Biden, Democrats losing ground with independent and suburban voters: poll Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE to dig up information on former Obama officials, saying the claims were "false." 

“Black Cube had nothing to do with this,” a spokesman from the firm told Haaretz.

The British newspaper The Observer reported on Saturday that Trump officials reached out to a private Israeli intelligence firm and directed it to dig up compromising personal information on former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, as well as Colin Kahl, Vice President Joe Biden's former national security adviser.

ADVERTISEMENT

The publication reported that the aim of the operation was to find information that could be used by the White House to discredit the multination Iran nuclear deal.

“The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it," an unnamed source familiar with the operation told The Observer.

Al-Monitor reporter Laura Rozen floated a possible connection between the reported details in the Guardian article to the private Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube, which gained widespread notoriety in the U.S. last year after a report that linked it to disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

 

Kahl said on Twitter that a woman had reached out to his wife saying she was from a U.K.-based finance company, Reuben Capital Partners, and wanted to talk about contributions to his children's school. 

 

The woman reportedly gave up after Kahl's wife told her to contact other people from the school. 

Rozen said she had confirmed with Kahl that the woman had said she worked for Reuben Capital Partners, a firm that was linked in a New Yorker article to Black Cube. 

The New Yorker reported last year that Reuben Capital Partners was allegedly used to spy on sexual misconduct complaints against Weinstein. 

The publication reports that Weinstein hired several private security agencies to probe his accusers and try to keep allegations that he had sexually assaulted women under wraps. 

One of Weinstein's accusers, actress Rose McGowan, said a woman named Diana Filip, claiming to be a women’s rights activist, began reaching out to her in May.

However, Filip was a former Israeli Defense Forces officer working for Black Cube. 

Weinstein had hired the firm to find information to block the publication of a Times story documenting the allegations.

In an email to The Hill, Black Cube said they do not discuss clients "with any third party."

"It is Black Cube’s policy to never discuss its clients with any third party, and to never confirm or deny any speculation made with regard to the company’s work," the group said.

“Black Cube has no relation whatsoever to the Trump administration, to Trump aides, to anyone close to the administration, or to the Iran Nuclear deal.”

Updated Monday at 5:25 p.m.