The White House allegedly instructed the NSA to spy on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his aggressive campaign against the Iran nuclear deal, believing the information could help curtail the prime minister’s efforts to thwart the agreement, the Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday.
The Journal interviewed more than two dozen past and present US officials from the National Security Agency on the topic.
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The NSA listened in on communications between Netanyahu and his aides, which the Journal says further deepened the mistrust between the two governments, as well as to private conversations Israeli leaders and officials had with US lawmakers and American-Jewish groups, raising fears the White House will be accused of spying on Congress.
In order to prevent a paper trail, which would have enormous political ramifications if discovered, the White House left the decision of what information to share and what to withhold to the NSA.
“We didn’t say, ‘Do it, ‘ and we didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it, ‘” a senior US official was quoted as saying.