Israel Rejects Report it was Spying on White House

Trump ‘I don’t believe the Israelis are spying on

Trump ‘I don’t believe the Israelis are spying on

A Haaretz reporter traveling with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also attributed his office as calling the news a "blatant lie".

Mobile phone surveillance devices that were found near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington, D.C. likely were planted by Israel, Politico reported. "There is a longstanding commitment, and a directive from the Israeli government, not to engage in any intelligence operations in the US".

The report added that the Trump administration chose not to hold the Israeli government accountable. The website reported that it was unclear whether the efforts were successful.

The allegations appeared in an exclusive story for U.S. news site Politico on Thursday. The devices, known as stingrays, act like regular cell phone towers but use technology to obtain information from cell phones connected to them, including their identities, data use, and the content of calls they make.

A former senior intelligence official told Politico, "The Israelis are pretty aggressive" in gathering intelligence.

Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agents conducted analysis to find out where they came from.

"It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible", said a former senior intelligence official cited by Politico.

The investigation determined that Israeli intelligence agents reportedly meant to capture information from phones assigned to President Donald Trump and his administration. "Occasionally there were some turns of phrase like language that as far as we knew had only appeared in drafts of speeches and never been actually used publicly, and then some Israeli official would repeat it back to us and say, 'This would be really problematic if you were to say X, '" a former official was quoted as saying.

"There are "dramatic" reports of Israeli spying in the US every few years, when someone in the administration does not like Israel or an Israeli policy and tries to use lingering American suspicions, ever since Jonathan Pollard, to sabotage the relationship", he said.

Israel has been very careful about this issue since the exposure of Jonathan Pollard, a former US Navy analyst who relayed information to Israel, over 30 years ago. His sentence was later reduced to ten months' house arrest.

In 2006, former US Department of Defense employee Lawrence Franklin received a 13-year prison sentence for passing classified documents on US policy towards Iran to Israel.

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