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Judicial Watch: State Dept. Records Confirm Ukraine Embassy Was Spying On Journalists, Trump Supporters

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State Department records obtained by Judicial Watch confirm what sources told SaraACarter.com last October, that the Ukrainian Embassy, under former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch ‘monitored, in potential violation of the law’ journalists, a member of President Donald Trump’s family and others they deemed allies of the president.

Read Sara’s story: Judicial Watch Investigates Claims Ousted Ukrainian Ambassador Monitored Journalists. I Was One Of Them.

In October, Judicial Watch issued a Freedom of Information Act request to the State Department asking for “any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the monitoring of any U.S.-based journalist, reporter, or media commentator by any employee or office of the Department of State between January 1, 2019 and the present.”

At the time, this reporter spoke to sources that had confirmed that members of the media, including myself and 12 others, were having their social media accounts spied on by members of the Ukrainian embassy” against policy and using tax payer dollars to do so.

Last October, Judicial Watch’s FOIA requested “all records pertaining to the scope of the monitoring to be conducted and individuals subject to it as well as records documenting the information collected pursuant to the monitoring.”

“The FOIA request also asks for all records of communication between any official, employee or representative of the State Department and any other individual or entity,” the watchdog stated.

Those records were delivered to the watchdog on Tuesday, and confirmed what sources had told this reporter last year.

A source with knowledge confirmed to SaraACarter.com that Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee, had allegedly requested the monitoring of this reporter. A source, with knowledge of the information, said “Sara Carter, as well as The Hill’s former columnist John Solomon, among others, were being monitored.”

In one email – many of which were heavily redacted – dated March 27, 2019, monitoring developing U.S. social media narratives on Ukraine, the Digital Team listed the names of those being monitored, including me.

Thank you! Below are some of the Twitter users with large followings whom we’ve seen tweeting on (and/or discussing on TV) Ukraine related issues over the past several days.They all have verified Twitter accounts that should be pretty easy to spot.

Sean Hannity

Laura Ingraham

Rudy Giuliani

Dan Bongino

Sebastian Gorka

John Solomon

Jack Posobiec

Ryan Saavedra

Sara A Carter

Donald Trump Jr.

Michael McFaul

Lou Dobbs

Pamela Geller

In the email, the Ukrainian Embassy officials also noted the search phrases that would be used while monitoring the 13 reporters and Trump allies.

Thanks very much for your notes. The English-language Twitter search phrases we’re currently using for this issue are:

Yovanovitch

Yovanovich (common misspelling)

Ukraine Ambassador

Ukrainian Ambassador

Ukraine Soros

Yovanovitch was a career diplomat. She also served at embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. She was appointed ambassador to Ukraine by Obama in 2016 and was recalled by the State Department in May.

Last year, Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors during the House impeachment inquiry against Trump.

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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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