Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Top Trump Donor Broidy Used White House ‘Backchannel’ To Pitch Foreign Business

Top Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy and his business partner George Nader tried to use their access to the president to win lucrative contracts with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Associated Press reported Monday.

Broidy and Nadar pitched themselves to Arab crown princes “as a backchannel to the White House” who could push anti-Qatar policies within the Trump administration, the AP wrote in its investigation, citing interviews with more than two dozen people and hundreds of pages of leaked emails between the two men. In return, Broidy and Nader expected huge consulting contracts from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The AP has previously reported that Broidy and Nader sought to push an anti-Qatar bill through Congress while obscuring the source of the money behind their influence campaign. Broidy claimed in an email that he had “shifted” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, to whom he had donated the legal maximum, from being anti-Saudi Arabia to “being critical of Qatar.” Royce’s spokesman says that the congressman had long been critical of both countries.

The emails obtained by the AP reveal an ambitious, secretive lobbying effort to isolate Qatar and undermine the Pentagon’s longstanding relationship with the Gulf country. They also contain notes of a previously unreported meeting with the president and the most detailed account yet of the work of two Washington insiders who have been entangled in the turmoil surrounding the two criminal investigations closest to Trump.

Neither man registered with the U.S. government under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law intended to make lobbyists working for foreign governments disclose their ties and certain political activities.

A lawyer for Broidy, Chris Clark, contended the AP’s reporting “is based on fraudulent and fabricated documents obtained from entities with a known agenda to harm Mr. Broidy.” Nader’s lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, declined comment. A senior Saudi official confirmed that the government had discussions with Nader but said it had signed no contracts with either Nader or Broidy.

Contact Alyssa Fisher at [email protected] or on Twitter, @alyssalfisher

Thanks for reading this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war and rising antisemitism.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Support our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.