The Trump administration’s hostility to the nuclear deal is so intense that the president’s aides reportedly hired a private Israeli firm to dig up dirt on former Obama administration officials connected with the agreement:
Aides to Donald Trump, the US president, hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a “dirty ops” campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, the Observer can reveal.
People in the Trump camp contacted private investigators in May last year to “get dirt” on Ben Rhodes, who had been one of Barack Obama’s top national security advisers, and Colin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama, as part of an elaborate attempt to discredit the deal.
This is outrageous behavior on the part of the Trump administration. It shows the lengths to which they would go and have gone to undermine a successful nonproliferation agreement. In attempting to discredit advocates of the deal by going after them personally, the Trump administration confirms how pitifully weak the arguments against the JCPOA itself truly are. Opponents of the nuclear deal have consistently lost the policy debate and have no valid criticisms of the agreement, so they are forced to attack the agreement’s supporters instead.
Trump is expected to renege on U.S. commitments in the nuclear deal next week. That will be a costly unforced error and a black mark on his foreign policy record. We now know that the administration has compounded that error with the disreputable conduct by the president’s aides described in this report. At a minimum, the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees should look into this matter and investigate whether the White House is employing similar tactics against other former U.S. officials.