Investigators working for Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia's campaign to disrupt the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates conspired, have obtained copies of the proposals and questioned Psy-Group employees, according to people familiar with those interviews.
A third proposal outlined a months-long effort to use social media to expose or amplify division among rival campaigns and factions, The New York Times said. For example, one proposal suggested creating fake online personas to bombard delegates to the GOP nominating convention with narratives about Cruz's "ulterior motives or hidden plans".
NYT said there is no evidence that the Trump campaign followed through on the proposals to use social media manipulation and intelligence gathering.
Then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, October 9, 2016.
Psy-Group created several secretive proposals for the Trump campaign at the behest of Rick Gates, who has since pleaded guilty and offered to cooperate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into foreign meddling in the United States election, The New York Times reported. Another proposal describes opposition research and "complementary intelligence activities" about Mrs. Clinton and people close to her, according to copies of the proposals obtained by The New York Times and interviews with four people involved in creating the documents. Trump was nicknamed "Lion", for example, while Clinton was referred to as "Forest", according to the documents.
This, despite the fact that The New York Times' report explicitly states there is now no evidence to prove that the Trump campaign retained Psy-Group's services. However, the owner of Psy-Group, Joel Zamel, did meet with Donald Trump Jr.in August 2016.
Mr. Zamel's attorney told The Times the meeting at Trump Tower was just to outline the company's capabilities in "general terms".
Gates sought one proposal to use fake online profiles to attack Republican Sen.