Netanyahu denies report that Israel snooped on White House

AFP Netanyahu Trump deny report of Israeli spying near White House

AFP Netanyahu Trump deny report of Israeli spying near White House

One of the officials says President Trump himself was a likely target, though it's unclear whether the spy mission was successful before being uncovered at some point over the last two years.

Another official quoted in the report accused the Israelis of being "pretty aggressive" in their intelligence-gathering operations.

The report comes at a sensitive time for Netanyahu, who has benefited from intervention by Trump during previous elections.

The report was sourced to three former US officials, including one who said there the administration imposed no formal consequences for Israel's actions.

What does the Politico report say?

Politico reported that U.S. officials believe Israelis were most likely the ones who set up several so-called stingray scanners, which mimic cellphone towers to intercept nearby calls and text messages, that were discovered in downtown Washington in 2017.

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Israel denies playing any role in the matter. "The U.S. and Israel share a lot of intelligence information and work together to prevent threats and strengthen the security of both countries".

One former official told the news magazine that there were "suspicions" that Israel was listening, saying that Israeli officials had a level of detailed knowledge "that was hard to explain otherwise".

Israel, one of the United states' closest allies, issued a strong denial. "Israel doesn't conduct espionage operations in the United States, period". The U.S., following a forensic analysis, determined that agents from Israel most likely brought them here, it added.

The report said some people within the Trump administration had suspected Israel was eavesdropping on communications from the White House. He was released in 2015 after being given a life sentence.

However, unconfirmed accounts over the years suggest that Pollard was never recruited as a spy, but rather volunteered for the work after being introduced to an Israeli military officer in NY in 1984.

The belief is that while he worked at the Naval Intelligence Center for Counter Terrorism in Maryland, Pollard handed files to the Israelis, including documents relating to Arab troops, the Palestine Liberation Organization and chemical and biological warfare programs conducted by Iraq, Libya and Syria.

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