Black Cube op targeting former Obama staffers was allegedly about business dispute bw 2 shipping companies – 1 of which Taiwanese – involving Iranian sanctions regime. Per Israel Ch2 news
— Neri Zilber (@NeriZilber) May 7, 2018
Yesterday, Israeli dirty-ops firm, Black Cube, denied outright that it was engaged by Trump administration officials to dig up dirt on Obama officials involved in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal. Today, the company changed its story: it appears it was engaged by a party to do work related to the Iran nuclear deal, but its clients were not Trump officials. Tomorrow, who knows what new story they’ll come up with?
There are several problems with the new version of events: why would a Taiwanese shipping company implicated in Iranian sanctions need to dig up dirt on two Obama national security staff members involved in negotiating the nuclear deal? Not to mention NIAC president, Trita Parsi (see below)? It just doesn’t make sense.
Then there is this related tweet posted by a competing Israeli TV news reporter:
Black cube was hired by shipping conglomerate trying to prove that Rhodes & Kahl were allegedly lobbying for a competing shipping company that was doing business with Iran violating international sanctions and discover any personal gains
— Omri Barak (@OmriBarak) May 7, 2018
This is even more laughable than the first tweet. Anyone who knows anything about the Obama administration knows that Rhodes and Kahl were national security wonks, not trade representatives. They didn’t lobby for anything or anyone. If they had, they’d be out of their jobs in a heartbeat. Once again, this is Black Cube taking us all to be fools. One thing is clear: any Israeli reporter who falls for this nonsense is truly a credulous fool.
Just for the hell of it, check out the accompanying screenshot of Trita’s series of tweets regarding his own strange interviews with a BC operative pretending to be a journalist.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s perpetual media punching bag, today didn’t come anywhere near denying administration involvement in this sordid affair. When a press officer says they’re “not aware” of something, it means it’s entirely possible the question is true; just that he or she doesn’t know, or want to know whether it is. It’s a whole lot different than “No.” It’s a whole lot closer to “maybe” or “let’s see what happens and if I have to change my story later, I will.” All of which means that it’s likely both Black Cube and Trump will be changing their stories as this case develops.
As I wrote yesterday, the key question now is who engaged BC. I suggested it could be Jared Kushner or Jason Greenblatt. But they don’t seem the types to engage in this sort of dirty work. It could be Michael Flynn, who was then still national security advisor. Though this is precisely the sort of dirt Michael Cohen did for Trump, he doesn’t seem to have the political chops to engage in this sort of work.
There is of course a delicious irony here: the whole purpose of hiring BC was to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal. If they could prove the principals involved in negotiating it had financial incentive or motives, it would strengthen the hand of those seeking its demise.
However, the opposite has turned out to be the case. Almost the entire world (including even a few Republicans!) are telling Trump to stay with the deal. And who is now on the defensive? All Trump’s horses and all Trump’s men, who may not be able to put Trump back together again after yet another fiasco.
It is Trump who is tarnished by this sordid caper. BC came up with nothing on Colin Kahl and Ben Rhodes. And the entire project has come back to bite them all in the ass. And when did the scandal revealed? Two days before Trump cancels the deal. I’d say one of Obama’s national security officials is getting his revenge. And sweet revenge it must be.
A further question is how and whether this may be used by the special counsel in his investigation and/or be used during an impeachment proceeding. I can imagine Mueller filing a subpoena for Black Cube’s files on this matter (if he doesn’t have them already). I can imagine its CEOs being forced to testify before a grand jury. How the mighty and the arrogant will be laid low…
Not since Nixon has a president outsourced such a delicate security matter to such a bunch of Keystone Kops. You remember what happened to him, don’t you? Any president who has to turn to such sleazy figures to pursue his national security policy should not be president. The question is how long it will take for enough Republican in Congress to recognize this.