FBI documents suggest Israeli link to Trump's 2016 campaign
Newly released FBI documents, which are heavily redacted, hint of Israeli links to Donald Trump’s confidant Roger Stone during the height of the 2016 US election campaign.
The FBI material is comprised of affidavits which were submitted to get a search warrant as part of an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia, carried out by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
A quote from one affidavit reveals that Stone was told by a contact based in Jerusalem about the possible defeat of Trump, saying: “He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands!"
Another series of references includes a meeting with a prime minister in Italy in 2016, though the name and nationality of the premier were redacted.
It reads: “On or about June 28, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] 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.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on a state visit to Rome at the end of June, but it’s unclear if the FBI document refers to him, according to Haaretz newspaper.
The FBI document also makes mention of a “minister without portfolio in the cabinet dealing with issues concerning defence and foreign affairs”.
Tzachi Hanegbi was appointed in May 2016 as the minister for defence and foreign affairs, but Hareetz also said that it’s unclear if the minister mentioned is an Israeli.
The most direct mention or hint towards Israel is an entry in an affidavit from August 2016.
A Jerusalem-based contact messaged Stone about the potential scenario of Trump's defeat.
According to the affidavit, the entry says: “On or about August 12, 2016,” reads: “[NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, ‘Roger, hello from Jerusalem. Any progress? He is going to be defeated [sic] 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. [REDACTED] STONE replied, ‘I am well. Matters complicated. Pondering. R., [REDACTED] Thank You.’”
In February, Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison after being accused of lying to Congress and witness tampering.
The FBI affidavits were released on Tuesday following a court case brought by The Associated Press and other media organisations.
Stone was one of six associates of Trump charged in Mueller’s investigation. Stone said on Tuesday that the private details included in the FBI documents "prove no crime".
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