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Mueller Probes Israeli Social Media Manipulation Company’s Cyprus Bank Account


Mueller Amy Berman Jackson grilled Manafort authority

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly looked into a Cyprus bank account connected to an Israeli social media manipulation company called PSY Group. Joel Zamel, one of the founders of the company, apparently met at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. in Aug. 2016.

Zamel was there alongside another foreign representative apparently offering ideas to help Donald Trump get elected.

According to Bloomberg, PSY Group’s capabilities include “infiltrating target audiences with elaborately crafted social-media personas and spreading misleading information through websites meant to mimic news portals.”

Mueller has subpoenaed bank records for payments made to Psy Group’s Cyprus account. His agents also reportedly interviewed U.S.-based PSY Group employees in February.

Bloomberg also reported that Psy Group was associated with Cambridge Analytica after Trump was elected.

Attorney Marc Mukasey said Zamel “offered nothing to the Trump campaign, received nothing from the Trump campaign, delivered nothing to the Trump campaign and was not solicited by, or asked to do anything for, the Trump campaign.” Mukasey also called the characterization of Psy Group as a social media manipulator misguided.

Trump Jr.’s attorney Alan Futerfas said in a statement that his client was pitched  “on a social media platform or marketing strategy […] was not interested and that was the end of it.”

It does not appear that Trump Jr. himself has responded directly to the report. He tweeted an editorial with Mueller’s face on it after 4 p.m. on Tuesday about the “other” Trump-Russia scandal.

The linked-to editorial asks why the media isn’t “actively investigating the suspicious activities at the Justice Department and the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia and Hillary/email investigations?”

Hours before that, Trump Jr. gushed over a tweet from Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary for George W. Bush.

“Given what we’re learning about events in the summer of 2016, it seems the Obama Administration took more action to stop Trump than they took to stop Russia,” Fleischer said.

“Ain’t that the truth?!?!” Trump Jr. replied.

[Image via Saul Loeb and AFP and Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.