he Trump administration is considering a scheme by a cast of shady characters to build a private network of spies to bypass U.S. intelligence services.
Blackwater founder Erik Prince and retired CIA officer John Maguire developed the plan, which was pitched to the administration by Iran-Contra figure Oliver North, reported The Intercept.
Sources told the website the plan would give the White House a way to counter “deep state” political enemies in the intelligence community and give the CIA director an army of spies with no official cover in countries such as North Korea and Iran, which are considered “denied areas” for American covert operations.
The Intercept report builds on reporting last week by Buzzfeed News.
The White House has also considered setting up a global rendition force to capture terrorist suspects around the world, and also establishing propaganda campaigns in the Middle East and Europe to combat Islamic extremism and Iran.