Qatar Targeted 250 Trump ‘Influencers’ to Change US Policy

Qatar Targeted 250 Trump ‘Influencers’ to Change US Policy

Friday, 31 August, 2018 - 08:00
Mike Huckabee. Reuters file photo
Washington - Asharq Al-Awsat
Longtime New York restaurateur Joey Allaham visited Manhattan’s Park East Synagogue late last year with an offer for lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Come visit Doha, the capital of Qatar, by invitation of the emir, The Wall Street Journal Reported.

Dershowitz says he hadn’t met Allaham before and initially demurred before agreeing to go. The professor also didn’t know he was on a list of people Allaham says he and his lobbying-business partner, Nick Muzin, identified as influential in President Donald Trump’s orbit, it said.

Doha, which was boycotted by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain in June 2017, gathered the list of 250 Trump influencers whom it wanted to help change US policy, the newspaper said.

Qatar spent US$16.3 million (Dh60m) on lobbying in 2017, almost four times the $4.2 million it spent in 2016. It also employed 23 lobbying firms, up from seven in 2016, according to federal filings reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

The list included former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and radio host John Batchelor.

Allaham and Muzin earned at least $3 million for their services, according to the report.

Some of the people on the list, including Dershowitz, said “they feel duped because they hadn’t known the trips were part of a state-lobbying effort”, according to the Journal.

Adding to the controversy, Allaham carried out most of his work without registering as a foreign agent until June, the paper said, but the two have since stopped working for Qatar.

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