Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election has reportedly expanded to look at the possible influence played during the campaign by the United Arab Emirates — and a Jewish top donor to the Trump campaign may be connected.
The New York Times reported Saturday Mueller’s team is looking closely at George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who has long played a freelance diplomatic role in the Middle East and has lately advised members of the Emirati royal family.
Nader went to the White House frequently in the first months after President Trump’s inauguration to discuss foreign policy with figures like Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon, the Times reported. He also had connections to others with White House access, including Elliot Broidy, who served on Trump’s inauguration committee and is a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Broidy sent a memo to Nader last fall detailing his meetings with President Trump, where he said he advocated for the UAE’s foreign policy views and frequently pressed Trump to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the country’s de facto ruler.
Nader introduced Broidy to Prince Mohammed shortly after the election, the Times reported. Soon after, a private security company owned by Broidy signed contracts with the United Arab Emirates worth several hundred million dollars.
Broidy has also been the subject of allegations that he tried to use his standing with Trump to help get a Malaysian leader out of a Department of Justice corruption investigation. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Broidy offered in a series of emails with businessman Jho Low to help to end an investigation into him and prime minister Najib Razak in exchange for a $75 million consulting fee.