There is an important reason for the no nepotism rules in the White House. Both Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, still have huge real estate holdings they failed to divest. Now, the two are in hot water.
It seems that the Qatari officials have had evidence the United Arab Emirates (UAE) illicitly influenced Kushner and other Trump people, involving secret meetings. But they decided against handing that information to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
CNN and The New York Times flushed out the news that both George Nader and Republican donor Elliott Broidy were in those meetings. Broidy was a top-level fundraiser and on Trump’s inaugural committee. He was also a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
The special counsel has businessman Nader in his grasp, so Mueller knows what is happening. Federal agents stopped Nader at the Dulles Airport close to D.C. last January, and he has been cooperating with the special counsel’s team.
The Qataris found that the UAE were trying to influence Trump’s administration against Qatar. It seems, Trump met with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani in Riyadh last May.
The Qatari government officials think the meetings could have caused Trump to endorse a regional blockade against Qatar. The blockade halted food and medical shipments via land and sea.
Trump endorsed UAE’s and Saudi Arabia’s decision to blockade Qatar. The president said that the tiny nation was funding terrorism and tweeted, according to NBC News:
‘Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to horror of terrorism!’
Qatar sent a delegation to Washington D.C. early last year to talk about mutual national security interest. Its Washington embassy spokesperson said that Qatar still will not give Mueller its information. The Qataris did meet with FBI Director Chris Wray while they were here.
Qatari government officials thought Trump backing the blockade was Kushner’s retaliation after a Kushner family deal fell through. Kushner’s attorney told NBC News:
‘A point person for completely appropriate contacts from foreign officials and he did not mix his or his former company’s business in those contacts and any claim otherwise is false.’
After Trump’s military noted that Qatar was home to a strategical U.S. military base, the president backed off.
Qatar officials claimed they have information detailing a meeting in December 2016 where Nader was involved, according to NBC News:
‘Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE had with Trump officials at Trump Tower, including Kushner, incoming national security advisor Michael Flynn and incoming chief strategist Steve Bannon.’
NBC News said President Obama was surprised:
‘The meeting took Obama administration officials by surprise when they learned about it in intelligence reports because the crown prince broke diplomatic protocol and did not alert them that he would be in the U.S.’
Nader helped plan a meeting in the Seychelles (Indian Ocean islands) for January 2017. Apparently, Mueller has been looking into whether this was an attempt on the part of Trump’s team to set up a communications back-channel with the Russians.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Win McNamee.