Who Is Behind Trump’s Links to Arab Princes? A Billionaire Friend

The connections nurtured by the financier Tom Barrack look to have paid off handsomely for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — and for his business.


Comments: 159

  1. A good metaphor of how the rich scratch each others backs with complete disregard for the common person.

  2. USA = United Saudi Allegiance

  3. The graft of this administration is operatic. There is simply no entity too odious for this administration not to try to make a few bucks. Throw in some fawning and flattery, a quick parade, and any deal will get done.

  4. What a coincident, Northstar shows up on my work screen this morning. Not knowing what it does and who runs it, I checked the website. Once I saw it is Mr Barrack's shop, I passed!

  5. Harry Truman had a sign on his desk "The buck stops here." Mr. Trump's sign should read "Anything for a buck."

  6. Actually Trump has the same sign on his desk as Truman. He just interprets it differently: any bucks reaching him stop in his pocket.

  7. Another billionaire buying influence around the globe. Probably just within the law (using many secret LLCs) wheeling and dealing for profit and power. Talk about the global elite ignoring all in the quest to control finance and government to benefit their pockets.
    Being a friend of Manafort does not enhance his reputation but adds suspicion to his many maneuverings.
    Barrack has still not clearly accounted for all the millions collected by the inaugural committee. His own personal slush fund to buy administrative decisions?
    And he 'helped' Jared with his financial woes? How so and what did he get in exchange? A policy for one of his rich Arab friends?

  8. The GOP and the people who voted for this charlatan have been PLAYED BIG TIME. This guy is enriching himself and his family right out in the open and they don't care. Giving away the influence and the treasure of this country to make a few bucks. Trump is a huckster, a snake oil salesman, nothing more....

  9. for those paying attention, and those who read the actual leaked Podesta emails, didn't we see some pay for access with Clinton Foundation money machine? I believe we did. Qatar, included, from my recollection.

  10. She lost. get over it.

  11. Chairman of Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee? Oh yeah, that slush fund that had a $60 million surplus that was never really accounted for. He's a Trump friend? That makes sense.

  12. None of these characters have ANY loyalty to the interests of the United States. They pursue self interest only. This is the Trump government.

  13. Simply another case of influence-peddling in the circles of Donald Trump. The White House should simply put up a billboard outsides that lists current issues for sale, and the latest bids - with a .COM site so people can rush in with higher bids.

  14. Barrack sounds like a shameless manipulator and artful schemer. He obviously does nothing without very careful planning with very thorough knowledge of the people with who he deals. Then he presents himself to be whatever will best advantage himself in dealing with the people involved. No move made without a purpose.

  15. ...and THESE are the people that America's fundamentalist Christians have empowered?

    Two thoughts:

    1. Spectacular journalism by this writer.

    2. More than ever, I fear for the future of this country.

  16. I'm glad I am predicted to live no more than 20 years. I think our country is lost.

  17. I agree, Mark, but that is what they want. They want us to fear and feel like we have no power.

    WE THE PEOPLE - collectively - have the power. WE can stop them by taking every non-violent action possible Right Now.

    VOTE. March. Demonstrate. Call/write/e-mail elected officials. We must talk to our friends and neighbors about what we know. They won't like it. They will resist. They may put their heads in the sand. However, they will hear and perhaps take notice. WE must hand in there to preserve OUR lives and those of future generations. That is our job right now and none is more important.

  18. I heard an NPR program today, regarding Democratic turn-out in midterm elections. Not good. Very low, even when accounting for the anti-Trump fervor. I was very surprised and sickened and frightened. I cannot imagine how much more damage they can do to our country if the House and the Senate remain Republican. You can probably hear it on NPR.com. I will drive people to the polls, I will volunteer for the Democrats running anywhere in Florida, but that's just me.

  19. Back in 2017, I commented on this board that Kushner appointment as the new US middle east point man had nothing to with policies but money.

    This is corruption. In the end, brave US soldiers will be dying in that region because decisions were made solely based on how they would enrich Trump and his groups of friends.

  20. "....brave US soldiers will be dying in that region because decisions were made solely based on how much they would enrich trump...". BINGO. This message is very sickening yet true. It must be told over and over to military parents who voted for Trump.

  21. There is a simple lesson that should be the takeaway.

    The heated and despicable rhetoric is one thing, but those that have money are another, and welcomed with open arms.

    It is just that simple.

  22. A real billionaire, or a made-up, self appraised Trump Billionaire ???
    Whatever, dude. Go away.

  23. And go sooner rather than later!

  24. The princes and kings of the Gulf states, Emirates and Saudi Arab are bunch of extreme greedy and power hungry people and Trump is their natural friend. They are just crook. They represent their Muslim citizens and Trump hates Muslims. How those crooks do not see that. We know their citizens are not free to speak anything against their rulers. Monkey business. Hopefully IRS, CIA and FBI are keeping their eyes on them.

  25. Right now trump is trying to figure out how to make Saudi silence rules work in US media & how to use Kim’s playbook on establishing dictator dynasty & setting up himself as a religion all of his own.

  26. The trail of corruption is further explicated. Kushner obviously has benefitted financially by being Trump's son in law. Certainly the Saudi's saw real benefits from ingratiating themselves to Trump. Manafort has been pursued by Mueller but the case about his connections with Ukraine entail Ukraine trying unsuccessfully to get into the EU. The EU determined that Ukraine had to have an IMF shock therapy makeover which was unacceptable to Yanokovich the President of Ukraine. The illegal coup in 2/2014 was another attempt by right wing nationalist Ukrainians with US support to try to get EU membership. The public debt and out of control corruption is something that EU rejected them again for. The fact that Russian ethnicity Ukrainians tried to use Manafort seems enough to go after Manafort.

  27. It should be also remembered Mr. Cohen, long time fixer for Mr. Trump, also has ties through his father-in-law and his brother to the Russo-Ukranian mob.

  28. Yanukovich was Putin's corrupt puppet, just like Trump. The Ukrainians ran him out of the country--or don't you remember?

  29. Flexibility or transactional. Trump has no ideology, no core values. He is a con man. We need a new special prosecutor to investigate what has happened since the 2016 election. The real crimes are likely ongoing.

  30. This just reinforces the notion that Trump is in the White House only to enrich himself, his family and his friends.

    America First is a misnomer. What he actually means is: Trump First.

    He has drained the swamp and replaced it with a cesspool.

    The Trump family bank accounts grow while us average Americans continue to just get by.
    Where is the outrage?

  31. Count me in as outraged!

  32. Once again we see the rot in the White House. Trump's foreign policy is driven by crony connections driving the business dealings of him, his family, and his business buddies. Mr. Barrack has prospered by becoming a sycophantic courtier to Arab princes, receiving their favors and largesse, and he has insinuated Trump into their inner circle.

    This may not be objectionable in business dealings, but it is a traitorous way for Trump to govern a nation. How does kow-towing to the desires of UAE and Saudi royalty serve American interests?

    The UAE and Saudi Arabia are actively pushing for a Middle East war. They openly desire that the U.S. attack Iran. They want Washington to approve their own nuclear programs. And they think they can get these wishes fulfilled by doing sword dances with Emperor Donald. They may be right!

    Trump is a disaster. Save our nation and curtail his runaway disaster of an administration. Vote the GOP out of office in November.

  33. One of Trump's boasts,mainly in the primaries, less so in the general, that you don't hear about anymore is that his campaign was self financed and that he wouldn't be beholden to anyone, anywhere. Strange he doesn't mention that in his numerous references to that astonishing night in Nov 2016.

  34. Can't wait to see this clown indicted. Being this close to Failing 45, he's got to be dirty.

  35. Do you suppose this is in any way related to the fact that Saudi Arabia and UAE, who together account for 17 of the 19 (90%!) of the 9/11 terrorists, have never appeared on any of Trump's immigration limitation lists?

  36. 9-11 was a great gift to the Republican Party. Americans have been losing their freedoms and their money to corrupt billionaires ever since. A person can claim to be a member of a religionl But Capitalism is the one true religion, and Money is the one true God.

  37. They are not our friends, they never have been and probably never will due to their resistance to modern culture and religious fundamentalism/fanaticism.....they believe they can buy anything w/ their retro $.....not everyone is willing to sell out just for some $. We should not be dealing w/ them at all, they are just using us and the Trump family & their sick admin is embracing them wholeheartedly...all for personal $.

  38. On one hand heartfelt thanks to the New York Times for shedding light on the frightening activities of the International Mafia Top 1% Global Financial Elite Robber Baron/Radical religion Good Old Boys' Cabal.

    On the other hand it literally makes my stomach knot up to know that they are gaining such power in OUR world.

    This is a power struggle between those who control the catholic church and those who control other organized religions. Organized religion has been used as a tool to "divide and conquer" by the financial elite for centuries. Barron is a "catholic". The mafia-centered catholic church has operatives around the world and they are using the hard-earned money of "peons" - and tax evasion - to increase their wealth and power.

    Isn't it time WE THE PEOPLE stopped them? Isn't it time that WE stop believing their Lies,Lies,Lies-hate-anger-fear mongering - the death-destruction they bring - the rape-pillage-plunder mentality they foster?

    Isn't it time to put them in their place as crooks and civilization destroyers of the highest degree?

    YES. NOW is the time.

    These supposed "billionaires" use borrowed money and tax evasion to get control. Cut off the money. Make them pay "market value" in hard currency to control businesses and OUR resources. Make them pay taxes on all revenue. They will all go out of business in a heartbeat and WE will save OUR world from them.

    NOW is the time. There may not be another time.

  39. Religion matters nothing to these people, only money, gobs and gobs of money. When Mr. Barrack, a Catholic, needed partners to buy a hugely expensive property in L.A. he becomes partners with an Israeli insurance firm and a Muslim.

    Religion is just for the little people.

  40. The worship of wealth has reached a new level. The Trumps and Kushners are quite a little cabal - so cozy, connected, and, above all, amoral.

  41. The United States is for sale! How far will this corruption go in the White House?

  42. The U.S. for sale? Never.
    The White House perhaps.
    But the U.S.? Never !

  43. America is going the way of Great Britain - once an "Empire" followed by the movement away of its colonies, which as to America constitute nations we once called friends

  44. The first President Bush used to talk about a New World Order . . . we now have that, and it's run by a handful of global billionaires who have no allegiance to any country, culture or moral compass; their goal is pure self-aggrandizement.

  45. Now this is the type of investigative reporting and uncovering of the unsavory that I expect of the Times. Well done, Mr Kirkpatrick. The unveiling of the oligarchy that the United States is ongoing. We are not governed by democratic or republican processes, we are governed by cesspools of plutocracy beyond reproach, beyond legal processes, and beyond monetary penalty. Americans are no better than the UAE or Saudi or Qatari citizens being betrayed by their own governments.

    It would behoove us all to remember that the source of all these emails had to have been leaked. This is what Donald Trump wants to prevent by having White House employees sign non disclosure agreements.

    I appreciate the work of the NYT and other news sources in showing us the money behind our politicians, recently there as one on "The Most Powerful Conservative Couple You’ve Never Heard Of" on the Uihleins as well. The only ones profiting from the US government is the Trump family and all their rich friends.

    God speed, Mr Mueller!

  46. Thank you, Ashraf! Well said.

  47. Mr Mueller - please hurry our country in in danger

  48. US policy is being made by the highest bidder under the Trump administration.

    Barrack starts his career by being hired by Nixon’s lawyer, Kalmbach, who ended up in jail for violating the Federal Corrupt Practices Act after he raised $220,000 in "hush money" to pay off the Watergate burglars. He bails out Kushner’s 666 properties, introduces Trump to Manafort, is concierge to the Persian Gulf royals, set up Jared as Trump’s envoy to Saudi Arabia and sets the stage for big deals to be brokered so that he can make money. US/Qatar relations changed for this, and US alignment with SA and EAU against Iran no doubt played a role in the US backing out of the Iran Nuclear Treaty, against all advice.

    This doesn’t even take into account the $110 billion in American arms sales and other new investments that Trump, Kushner and Ross made with SA in the name of US “jobs”. Or the $40 billion fund for US businesses AND Saudi businesses to build private infrastructure on US federal land, naming chosen executives like Blackstone’s Stephen A. Schwarzman, who is a close friend of Trumps, and who in 2011 was listed as a member of the “International Advisory Board of the Russian Direct Investment Fund”.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2017/05/20/blackstone-unveils-4...

    https://rdif.ru/Eng_fullNews/53/

  49. The truth to the Trump base is that the Deep State is, in fact, Trump and his cronies. The absolute fawning over Saudi Arabia in Trump's first overseas trip should have made this obvious,
    One wonders as well whether the artificial trade and tariff war Trump has begun with our allies and his continued fawning over Russia don't have to do with his own financial power.

  50. So this guy Barrack is obviously pretty sleazy, but I can't find anything in this article that could possibly lead to actual prosecution for any of the pay-to-play and influence peddling that he seems to engage in. Am I missing something? As our laws, regulatory agencies, and courts are currently configured, a clever guy like this can manipulate our government for big profit for himself and his cronies and fear no bad consequences.

  51. Violations of Emoluments Clause sounds quaint and classy, how about "Racketeering, Extortion, Bribery, Pay to Play, Corrupt practices, Protection scams and Insider Trading?"

  52. Treason

  53. SO, not just the election was for sale, but the Republican platform at the convention, and continued influence on policies that benefit everyone but those 'forgotten Americans' that Trump promised would never be forgotten again! He not only has forgotten them but sold us out for the best deals for himself and the wealthy oligarchs around the world, to pay off his debts and Kushner's. He has to be indicted, because this goes beyond anything we have ever witnessed in the criminal world, let alone as president. Justice will be served. The day of reckoning is coming.

  54. I was initially surprised that Trump never accused Tom "Barrack" of not being born in America, but then I realized that he spelled it with 2 "r"s thus distinguishing him from Obama.

  55. When all is said and done in the special counsel's investigation, the greatest international political corruption scandal will be exposed for all to see and will rock this nation and the world to its core.

    Robert Mueller and his team must be as busy as bees with all they're uncovering. And for anyone who thinks this investigation is taking a long time, they're actually working at breakneck speed.

  56. I find it fascinating that Barrack put Manaford in Trump’s campaign. There has been a lot of confusion in the reporting over the past months as to how Trump got to know Manaford. I find it also fascinating that Barrack and Manaford both lived in Beirut in the 70’s. What brought Mr. Manaford to Beirut? Beirut used to be spy central for the world and is where the most famous spy of all time, British born Kim Philby (double agent for the KGB) lived in the early 60’s. It was in Beirut that Philby befriended CIA station chief, Mr. Copeland (father of the drummer Stewart Copeland). Their children played with each other. Legend has it that the spies would collect at St. George’s Hotel bar to wile away the afternoon hours, sharing the view and drinks with reporters. Seems a more gentile time somehow.

  57. "There has been a lot of confusion in the reporting over the past months as to how Trump got to know Manaford."

    You put your finger on the key puzzle whose solution can unravel the whole Trump-Russian affair. Either Barrack is much more than a run-of-the-mill "investor Billionaire" or he has been manipulated by others; that is, he has been an unsuspecting victim of a set-up. Mr. Trump has shown us that, with right connections, one does not need to be too smart to make billions.

  58. Imagine just how unhappy Trump would be if he wasn't profiting from the presidency.

  59. So Putin didn't want Hillary to win, and he worked to influence the elections.
    The Saudis and their friends did not like Hillary too, as she would continue Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. So for sure they reached out to Trump, and asked how they could help.
    And the Israelies, well, they hated the Iran deal. Sure enough, they were also ready to lend a hand.
    Everybody against Hillary.

  60. And against Europe,

  61. Can you say c-o-r-r-u-p-t-i-o-n?

  62. "The same inquiry is examining whether the Emiratis and Saudis helped sway the election in Mr. Trump’s favor — potentially in coordination with the Russians, ..."

    It is interesting that NYT is quick in mentioning Emiratis and Saudis for illegally contributing to Trump's election campaign, but is shying away from referring to the roles of Eric Prince, head of Blackstone, and Joel Zamel, "an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation" in the same.

    According to Mark Mazzetti's article in NYT ("Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election", published on May 19, 2018), the meetings between Emiratis, Saudis and Trump Jr was also attended by
    Erik Prince, George Nader, as well as Joel Zamel.

    Mr. Zamel is not a minor player to be conveniently ignored by NYT. His company is run by "former Israeli intelligence officers" and he has known connections with Mr. Putin allies. In fact he may be the only one knowing all about who hired an army of Russian-speaking programmers and bloggers (both in Israel & Russia) to use social media to spread fake news about Democrats, hack their emails, and make their internal information available to WikiLeaks.

    Are NYT and other media avoiding to mention Mr. Zamel and ignoring his potential role in Trump's election victory, because those facts weaken the allegation that Mr. Trump colluded with Russians? Or, he is not mentioned because they do not wish to drug in Israel, a close friend and ally, into this mess?

  63. I've "liked" your comment Eddie but will say this - maybe this article didnt mention the Israeli connection because it's mainly about the connection between Barrack, Trump and the Gulf monoarchy ? I mean the NYT did report about the Israeli tech compay's involvement in a dedicated article.

  64. Donald Trump's "religion" is one part pride and one part the love of money. The greatest sin and the root of evil.

    How much Trump is profiting from his occupation of the Oval Office of the White House is hidden from the American people in his personal and family income tax returns and business records. By failing to declare, disclose and divest his assets into a blind-trust, Trump has turned his Presidential solemn sworn oath into inherent comflict with his personal interests.

    Despite his anti-Muslim rhetoric Trump was seen Saudi sword dancing and orb-rubbing in Riyadh. Then Trump welcomed King Salman and his son to the White House. Trump and family are for sale to any and all Arab Muslim oil and gas interests "investments".

  65. Birds of a feather will flock together.

  66. Mostly the vultures.

  67. Stellar reporting from David D. Kirkpatrick with Ben Protess, Maggie Haberman, and Mark Mazzetti. See web-link ("the most experienced and lethal of managers") for Manafort's rise - NYT, 8 April 2017, Glenn Thrush.

    In typical NYT prose, the facts paint the picture - draw your own conclusion.

    First, Tom Barrack has NEVER been "played like a Steinway". He's played Trump, princes, investors, and the Republican National Convention by getting them to applaud Trump's children.

    Second, pre-2016 campaign, Manafort worked with Roger Stone and had unspecified role in Trump's "airport noise" battle with Palm Beach County. Tom Barrack used his influence over Jared (loaned money) to get Manafort's pitch to join campaign in front of Trump. Result: "No Fee" Manafort (with penchant for foreign money) SELECTED.

    Finally, Trump is 'swayed' by deals emerging from his son-in-law's charter. Tom Barrack with his Middle Eastern contacts has been Trump's friend for forty years.

    So, why did Trump accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism when the Saudis / others blockaded Qatar last year? Reversing his position this March, Trump communicated to Saudis to end blockade. Weeks later, Brookfield Asset Mgmt (Qatari government) magically agreed TO BAIL JARED OUT of his 666 Fifth Ave mega-debt.

    PICTURE Kellyanne Conway simultaneously representing our government and shameless hawking Ivanka's fashion line. GRIFTING, small and large, to please the Trumps IS US POLICY; and Tom Barrack knows how to please.

  68. Trump supporters were mad as heck that special interest groups like the Teachers Union or The AFL/CIO make contributions to influence political campaigns; yet, they are totally silent about all these foreign nations helping Donald Trump get elected POTUS.

    What gives?

  69. ronny: Love is blind!

  70. His supporters are clueless.

  71. Mr. Mueller has now asked that files be sealed & protected from this administration. He must know something or he wouldn't feel the need to protect the files. Wonder if someone has attempted to hack the computers or break into the special counsel's offices (a la Watergate)? He is uncovering more & more. It is moving faster now. Just hope he gets them all before trump declares himself dictator after talking to Kim on how to do it. One attorney for Manafort said they are filing charges based on the "thinnest evidence"...well evidence is evidence. Go get'em Mr. Mueller!

  72. Another creature of the swamp--what a surprise!

    Thanks for this expose!!

  73. As a non-supporter of Trump, living in the United States, I feel like a member of a conquered people. It's hard to keep the despair at bay.

  74. It should come as no surprise that Robert Mueller is also investigating whether the Emiratis and Saudis “helped sway” the 2016 election in “Trump’s favor — potentially in coordination with the Russians, “ because they knew that Trump is venal and has zero regard for human rights. Most of all they want him to be tough on Iran. No wonder we don’t hear anything about the the release of the 28 “redacted pages” of a classified report on Saudi Arabia’s pssible role in the 9/11 attacks, because Trump’s team had “removed a proposed Republican platform provision inserted to ‘embarrass’ Saudi Arabia.” Tom Barrack deals with Trump since the 1980’s and must know a great deal about him. In the second half of 2017 he had been critical of Trump in the public. If Mueller could find a skeleton in Barrack’s closet, he would have a valuable asset.

  75. Don't forget the Israelis who were working hand in glove with all of them as well.

  76. So, while our infrastructure crumbles, our kids are awash in student loan debt, and we are told that Medicare and Social Security will soon be insolvent, the Tom Barracks of this country are making behind-the-scene deals to run our government by proxy and skating on their fair share of taxes. Anyone who does not believe that we are living a hopelessly corrupt plutocracy simply isn't paying attention. Stand for the national anthem?? Seriously?? The rot that overtaken America makes me want to vomit.

  77. Trump claims to be in love with this country but he is happy to hug and kiss the Saudis. The GOP seem ever so happy to dance with the SAUDIS . Remember 9/11 whe Bush made sure the Ben Ladens would fly out of the US when they should have been questioned and subjected, at least, to the same delays as Americans. I’m sick of the corruption and the betrayals. Are any Republicans going to stand up?

  78. Trump ONLY cares about self aggrandizement, money and power. His "patriotism" is totally PHONY one more CON of his foolish "base" (at best); racist and very gullible otherwise. This administration, president and Republican led congress will go down in US history as the worst, most venal and corrupt. A true KAKISTOCRACY. So SAD. Get RID of them. VOTE for Democrats. I can promise you that the worst democrat is way better than the "best" republican. Not just I believe this--Tom Friedman made the same point in a recent column.

  79. Donald we are all still holding our breath waiting for you to drain the swamp.

  80. No Steve, Breath. The swamp will not be drained it was a lie.

  81. While he was president George Washington once offered to sell the fledgling government sandstone from his quarry for construction of the Capitol. Somehow this seems different. A lot different. Trump apparently has spent decades and/or surrounded himself with people who have spent decades dealing with people whose political power was seen as an asset or tool in their business and financial pursuits. Make a deal with a Gulf royal, Jared gets relief on his investment debacle on 5th Ave. Give a break to a Chinese company that flouts US law related to the nation's national security, and Ivanka gets patents. And on and on. This is Trump's model for governance. This is his normal. Democracy, rule of law, administrative constraints, and perhaps elections are as foreign and alien to him and his circle as if he were beamed here from an absolutist monarchy or contemporary dictatorship. This is what we are facing. North Korea may never fully divest itself of nukes, but Vegas may be running odds on how soon a Trump Tower goes up in Pyongyang.

  82. No. Trump can just take over the newly built Ski Report, Equestrian Training and Racing Facility, and or the incomplete Ryugyong Hotel. By the way, there is plenty of recently built apartment and office space, unoccupied, in Pyongyang. Someone, like Trump, would have a field day with all of this.

  83. Once a lying crooked con man, ALWAYS a liar and con man. Trump and his whole klan stink. As do the Republicans who enable him. Lowest of the low is mitch McCONnell who among many other sins stole Merrick Garland's Supreme Court seat. Can't wait till these lying crooks are gone. Lock THEM up. America wake up. Vote Democrats in. Clean up our country.

  84. This could have all been avoided if only we’d elected Joe the Plumber. I’m sure he could have cleared the drain for the swamp.

  85. We now see the ringmasters without even an ounce of disguise. That may be the sole positive thing to come out of this nightmare..

  86. Once again, this is not a game. Trump and company are playing solely for themselves for keeps to make themselves rich beyond belief. They'll have no problem throwing the rest of us under the bus because we are on their way for full domination. Trump's latest move to cancel our war games off Korea, is just his payback to Putin for his election interference and oligarchs' business loans to Trump's family, Xi for his 7 trademarks given to Ivanka Trump to do business in China, and now with opening up the beaches in North Korea for Kim, so Trump and his buddies can build and profit for their resorts there. To accomplish their goals, it will entail the destruction of our country and our democracy. Unless the rest of us pull together. And even this is fraught, because Trump through his pander and lies, has his followers blindly following, and the former GOP corralled in their holding pen, afraid to support our democracy. Our founders would turn over in their graves, if they knew what was happening.

  87. To be followed soon by Trump's declaration of his new "peace initiative" initiated by his hand-waving lack of a nuclear threat from N. Korea. The Trump Treaty will proclaim Russia is no longer a threat and N.A.T.O. null and void. All according to plan for Trump-branded hotels in Russia.

  88. Enough of these billionaires and their sway. According to Oxfam, 8 men have as much wealth as half the world. https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-01-16/just-8-men-o... It's time to stop this money from flowing into our elections and to tax the uber wealthy. We're not even talking the 1% or .1%, but taxing the top .001% could change America and the world. That'd be the easiest way to "Make America Great Again."

  89. That's the sort of dangerous rhetoric that leads to what happened in places like Venezuela and earlier, Cuba. The government is not your mommy. You are responsible for the outcome of your life. If you choose to be a victim, you will become one.

  90. Fred Rick, Yours is the sort of dangerous rhetoric that leads to what happened during the French Revolution. The government is not a vehicle to be manipulated by the worst of the wealthy to further insulate themselves inside their tiny bubbles, without regard to how their self-serving tax cuts, etc. affect the vast majority. When the gap between the richest and poorest finally widens to crisis proportions, the poor will eventually take their power and the violence will engulf us. The excesses of our modern-day aristocracy, if left unchecked and unmonitored, will destroy everything. Shouldn’t we try to find a better solution before the killing starts?

  91. More dots being connected that will lead to Trump. Eventually all this graft and corruption will bubble all the to the Oval Office. The idea that Trump does not know what is campaign people did, what connections they made, where the obtained money from, what they spent money on, who was paid off, etc. is next to impossible. Not only does Trump know all of this, and lied about it, he continues to build on his lies, graft and corruption. By the way, do not be surprised if the Trump family obtains apartments and hotels in Pyongyang. Well, Trump aspires to be another Kim Jong-Un, maybe, hen he tries to escape prosecution, in the US, he has a place to run to.

  92. You're right. The big question is: are enough people going to care? Can they tear themselves away from their Facebook page for long enough to see where this is going?

  93. One of trump’s first televised remarks from Singapore was “what a beautiful beach! It needs a condo.” Wonder how many he is going to be allowed to build now.

  94. Trump seems to surround himself with shady people who run in the same circles. Barrack introduces Manafort. Manafort gets indicted. Now Cohen is expected to be indicted in the next few hours. Trump, his family and associates are abusing the power of the presidency for monetary gain and power that they will have for decades after his term. And they won't pay a dime of inheritance tax on any of their earnings.

  95. It was only a few days ago that I was trying to find how it was that Manafort became Trump's campaign managers. This article explained it thoroughly, raising even more questions about how endlessly corrupt this administration is. Barrack saying Trump "played him like a Steinway" is preposterous. Barrack has got what he was after even though Qatari business has fallen off. What low, foul people these are. Trump is in business for himself. The U.S. Presidency is his means. The Republicans no where insight to safeguard our democracy.

  96. I don’t understand what all the hoopla is about. All this article shows is that Trump, a 30 year businessman, had and has business friends among the wealthy and influential. Is this news? If people are surprised, it only demonstrates their naivety or ignorance. If people are angered, it only demonstrates their bias and hatred for Trump. The article disappoints in being unable to indict Trump on any wrongdoing.

  97. What, I believe, most Americans fail to realize is that the “wealthy and influential” are NOT in fact all the same. The Trumpists and the Bernie types are doing a great job of painting all billionaires with the same brush. The Trumpists want everyone to believe that Trump is a billionaire (he’s not) and that he runs with “all the billionaires” because they all hang out at the same club (they don’t). The Bernie types want us to believe that all billionaires are evil (they’re not). But whichever way you wish to view “all billionaires”, this narrow mentality has done a grave disservice to us all! Have you noticed that Gates, Buffet, Bloomberg and their ilk won’t touch Trump with a 10-foot pole? Look at the immense and real philanthropy of Gates, Buffett and Bloomberg. Look at the non-existent and purely self-dealing “philanthropy” of Trump. It’s night and day. Trump only fraternizes with the MOST corrupt, the MOST transactional, the ones who see all human relationships as an opportunity to self-enrich. Because that is who Trump is. No person with that mentality should be making decisions that affect the everyday lives of actual people.

  98. This is a golden time for observing the financial elite at their best. Soon they will find ways to communicate out of view...with no email trail to see

  99. Clear writing about a muddled (by design) subject and research about people who apparently know how to hide in plain sight. Thanks to the authors and NYT for pursuing this subject. Unfortunate that the information was not available prior to the election, of course. This article reveals a side of Trump his voters in rural US will never know about and if they somehow find out, will never believe. Amazingly, money makes some Muslims acceptable to Trump. I wonder if the travel policy applies to Trump's friends?

  100. I think that Mr. Trump should be a little more careful with what he says and does.

  101. Thank you for clarifying for me the connection between president and his men and foreign powers and their money. Clearly this White House objectives are NOT for the good of our country and its people . Clearly Trump violated the Constitution's emoluments clause. P.S. noticed that NO women is even near any of this money/business deal making?

  102. Oh please will the press stop trying to manufacture negativity to every foreign outreach President Trump has done? After exalting all that president Obama did reaching out to the Arab world he wasn't a top worldwide businessman as is President Trump. Of course there may be some business connection but not in the sense the press portrays.

  103. "he wasn't a top worldwide businessman as is President Trump." WHAT? You clearly bought the spiner's spin while keeping your eyes closed to the facts. Let's see the facts: Trump went bankrupt 6 times. (Just that should make you doubt his abilities as a businessman). As a consequence, no reputable bank would finance his deals. (That alone as well should make you think...). So he turned to "other" sources of financing, one of which was (and probably still is) the money of Russian oligarch's (who are where Putin allocates some of the self-helped spoils of the hard working Russian people collected by Puti without their permission), the Kazachstan's oligarchs, and others... The most rewarding source of Trump money were TV performances, but that does not qualify as an activity of a "a top worldwide businessman". I hope it helps...

  104. "Trump went bankrupt 6 times. ..As a consequence, no reputable bank would finance his deals." Neither of these statements is true.

  105. If anyone has noticed not just gas prices in the US going up, but world oil prices have also risen since Trump became POTUS. Who benefits from these increases? Russia needs the money to prop up their system, middle eastern nations us oil revenue to keep their country exploited poor masses in some comfort so they dont revolt, and here in the states oil companies and their stock holders gain even more wealth. Is this the area of collusion? Does trump have oil investments? Gold has also risen in price, that would be Trumps favored mineral- Trump world is bathed in gold. Both of these rise when there is global uncertainty-just looks ke we have seen before, & since January 20th, 2017.

  106. The smell of corruption coming from this administration is almost overpowering. I always wondered what it would be like to live in a banana republic -- now I know.

  107. Trumps fleecing of America continues as he distracts with chaos, tweets and fake news.

  108. "Trump’s special flexibility" I love that! What a great way to say if you bribe him, he will give you whatever you want.

  109. Is this too many articles on Trump? I haven't gotten a notification about a non-Trump article today...I don't know. There's just so many of them, and I need to open the app and go a few clicks in it to get to something non-Trump. I appreciate getting a couple daily stories about the President, but it seems like I only get Trump notifications. They generate the most ad revenue, I suppose.

  110. “He also has joint ventures in the U.A.E.!” The more I read about Donald Trump the more hopeless I feel. How could any working class person fall for this guy?

  111. It's getting to be a bit too disconcerting -- all of these unsavory characters who care only about stuffing money in their pockets, and in some cases happen to be despots as well -- being best-buddies with the President of the United States.

  112. The smell of corruption coming from this administration is almost overpowering. I always wondered what it would be like to live in a banana republic -- now I know.

  113. A dangerous game is being played between the Trump crowd and the Saudis and the Gulf State Royals. The objective is to present the Palestinians with an Israeli fiat accompli backed by the Saudis and the Gulf States. It will be a take it or leave proposition. The goal is to clear the decks for an Israeli and Saudi, with the backing of the Trump administration, final reckoning with Iran. Thomas Barrack and Jared Kushner (and others) believe that they are the smartest guys in the room, until American GIs are sent to the region in numbers that exceed anything we have seen in the previous gulf wars. War is like a box of Forrest Cump's chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. Much like Trump's business accum, this will not end well for all concerned.

  114. “He also has joint ventures in the U.A.E.!”
    The more I read about Donald Trump the more hopeless I feel. How could any working class person fall for this guy?

  115. Trumps fleecing of America continues as he distracts with chaos, tweets and fake news.

  116. Trump’s “Special flexibility”?? That is rich. Shouldn’t you say his ability to flip flop and lie for whomever is going to applaud the loudest at that moment?

  117. "Trump’s special flexibility"

    I love that! What a great way to say if you bribe him, he will give you whatever you want.

  118. Is this too many articles on Trump? I haven't gotten a notification about a non-Trump article today...I don't know. There's just so many of them, and I need to open the app and go a few clicks in it to get to something non-Trump. I appreciate getting a couple daily stories about the President, but it seems like I only get Trump notifications. They generate the most ad revenue, I suppose.

  119. Baloney! All these emails show is the power of billions of dollars. The Saudis care the money, just like so many of the corporatists here. Everyone knows who know he’s a yutz.

  120. "special flexibility"?? You mean lack of morals, conviction and ethics.

  121. That's how I read it. Often the Times reporters are good at finding ways to express outrages in muted terms that won't provoke an uproar or a libel suit. My compliments to the reporter and editor.

  122. Let's please do keep following the money - here it's Middle Eastern and so obviously Trumpish - I'm sure Bob Mueller is on top of this, and encourage anyone who has supportive information to let him and the public know. Bobo Reboso - that boob - is a good analogy; Tom Roberts will meet the same fate. Maybe even the Koch boys will get a conscience and do something for America as opposed to their so thwarted thinking. John Bitner

  123. Koch brothers and conscience in the same sentence is a laugh. In Gaylord Michigan They closed their factory and locked the doors. The employees showed up on Monday and surprise ---you are unemployed.
    Then last year they made a "generous" offer to GIVE the empty concrete space where the factory once stood ,to the county.
    Of course the fact that the site is a hazardous waste site had nothing to do with their "generosity".
    Sure it didn't. cough cough.

  124. oh please. can he just sequester himself @ his 700 acre winery and polo field estate in santa ynez valley? disgustily greedy.

  125. Crooks, one and all. Trump has not only failed to drain the swamp, he has infested it with even more self-dealers and scam artists. Where is the outrage? Do we really only care about the culture wars? Isn't crooked government enough for its own culture war?

  126. So Herbert Kalmbach "just happened to" hire him after he ... brought him a football book? And he "just happened to" be a squash partner who "just happened to" be son of a Saudi king? Sure, that happens by pure coincidence all the time. Tell me again where 17 of the 19 hijackers came from?

  127. Alas, the Light on the Hill is now just a “For Sale” sign.

  128. Wouldn't you love to have this kind of insider dope on people with ill will toward the American citizens, like The Clintons and the Obamas?

    While this exposes zero corruption and zero graft, it gives you the feeling on knowing what gets said back there behind the doors.
    And who KNEW that there was a man named Barrack who loves how things work in America?

  129. While this doesn't exactly expose an corruption or graft, it certainly sets the scene. The man named Barrack who loves how things work in America is an American. A wealthy American who keeps company with some very questionable people. That seems to be the trend for wealthy conservatives lately.

    The Clintons and the Obamas do not have ill will towards the vast majority of American citizens. All four of these people have more integrity than 45, his family, followers, voters and dictator friends ever will. They did not try to destroy our democracy as 45 is doing. Try not to drink so much of their koolaid.

  130. Mr. Barrack recommended Paul Manafort as Trump campaign manager. Say no more; Mr. Barrack association with an advisor of dictators and money launderer speaks volumes. Another shady associate of Donald Trump. Are there any decent people in the Trump circles of friends?

  131. Would any decent person want to befriend Trump? A decent friend of Trump: An oxymoron surely!

    I would think anyone with even a shred of decency would feel dirty and slightly violated merely being in Trumps presence, let alone being friends with him.

  132. Arab princes are no more Muslim and patriotic than trump is Christian and patriotic. It's all about money, wealth and power to them. There is nothing moral or patriotic about any of these characters - it is all about the business of what's in it for me. This is what you get when you give a corrupt businessman political power of a country.

    The JoKe is on us. Obviously Jared's role in the Middle East is to grovel for money to keep himself out of bankruptcy - maybe even keeping his dad-in-law out of bankruptcy too or help pay down his debts to Putin.

    Interesting how the Muslim travel ban only applied to those countries that trump and JK do not receive money from.

  133. "Blue light sale at the new K-Mart" at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Welcome to the new low in our American politics.....everything is for sale for the right price. We all "can sleep safe" under the watchful eyes of heel spurred "commander in chief."

  134. So Broidy, ousted from the RNC as finance chair for hush money payoffs he took from Cohen to pay for silence of his extra marital affair and illegitimate child, was hoping to make millions from his influence and business deals in the US/Saudi/U.A.E. relations. His agenda was pro SA and U.A.E., working with George Nader, a US citizen and political adviser to the de facto ruler of the U.A.E. This led to the shift with the Iran Nuclear Deal and change of US position on Qatar. George Nader is now cooperating with Mueller.

    BTW, Cohen, who will be indicted very soon, is STILL acting as the deputy finance chair of the RNC.

    It’s no wonder the entire GOP sounds like crickets.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/21/us/politics/george-nader-elliott-broi...

  135. If that was actually Broidys' affair that Cohen paid off:

    I'll gladly eat my hat.

  136. America has long supported unfathomably corrupt despots in the Muslim world like the bloody Clown Princes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE in order to siphon off the natural resource wealth of the Muslim world. This has included support for atrocity laden anti-democratic coups from Iran in 1953, to Algeria in 1992 and Egypt in 2013. Yet karma is a "beach" as they say, and those of us who are experts on the region warned that predatory US policies would lead to massive retaliation in kind and that the US would never make a profit from its policies and would imperil its own democracy in the process. These warnings came true with the 9/11 attacks and the rise of Trumpism and the malign manipulation of American democracy by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Russia.

  137. Thanks well said.

  138. Prince Bandar, the dark hand of Saudi intelligence services, was also known as Bandar Bush, often pictured sitting on the arm of a couch with the Bush family in their home.

    On 9/11 the only plane flying was the one Bush allowed to take Saudis home, away from the American reaction to 9/11.

    Saudi influence long predates Trump. It isn't even greatest with Trump compared to past Presidents.

  139. Its oil.

  140. Not at all, oil diplomacy long gone.

    Now, It's money, money money $$$$

  141. Yet another Ode to Wealth is how this NYT article reads. Ahhh the Glory of multi million dollar deals with some of the most avaricious and vile humans on Mother Earth. we know who attacked us and yet so called wealthy "Americans"(the real Globalists) continue to suck up to them.

  142. The uber wealthy are not patriotic in the sense that the average man is. Patriotism is just a concept used to control the unwashed masses.

  143. Extraordinary writing and reporting NYT- and Mr. Kirkpatrick.

    I hope Mr. Mueller has a very large and sturdy broom.

  144. By barracking the voice of the opposition and placating the APP(Arab Princes& Putin) barracking for the victory of the king of hyperbole,Mr.Trump and comfortably barracked him in the oval office, Mr.Tom Barrack,the 'Steinway Piano' of Mr.Trump made us to hear the hyperbole of Mr.Trump . But by allowing Mr.Trump to play the 'Steinway Piano' at his will in conniving with many quid pro quo,we hope that it won't be dubbed as "Stain way Piano" in correlation with the opposition's (inter-Republican and Democratic) attempt to tarnish Trump's victory and the ongoing investigation into the US presidential election.

  145. The continuation to my above comment- " Is it possible for any US president to ignore UAE & SA and workout
    a policy on middle east?. Mr.Trump is fortunate to have a buddy like Mr.Tom Barrack to erase the misgiving about him in the middle east and above all he is able to achieve a good, workable relationship with the two visionaries,the crown princes, popularly known as MBS ( Mohammed Bin Salman) of Saudi Arabia and MBZ ( Mohammed Bin Zayed) of UAE respectively .
    Since both MBZ& MBS are pragmatic and reliable in their words and commitments for the reforms and the development of their nations, and external relationship with other nations are the rulers in the age of AI and Robotics, the job of the president of the USA has become easier than before on the negotiation table.

  146. Populist my foot

  147. It seems that Mr. Barrack is a far better business man that Trump - maybe, if that is the qualification we elected the wrong guy.

    One of the downsides of electing a gullible, needy, easily flattered president who loves all the very gaudy trappings of wealth is that the smart and wealthy of the world will play him like a fiddle.

    As to Muslims - he loves the rich ones, but plainly is no friend of Muslims in general and has no understanding of or respect for Islam. Apparently that is fine with the wealthy Saudis etc., as long as they get what they want.

  148. Dirty money from around the globe feeds these businesses. To think that they are not buying influence is naive.

  149. More to the point, trump is SELLING influence. Much like Rod Blagojevich attempted to sell Obama's Senate seat.

  150. Mr. Barrack a very proficient business man as anyone who has done business with him will confirm.
    Still, he is also able to manipulate people very well which made him a fortune.

    So the only real question here is, what does Trump get out of his sudden conversion?

    My advice is to follow the money as Arabs have no problem buying into any type of business venture as long as the other side is not one of their tribe by all kinds of incentives.

    So again, follow the money and then indict Trump.

  151. This is great reporting - the fact that foreign governments have such great influence on the 2106 elections is very unnerving?

    Most folks like me who vote believe that citizens who have the interest of the country influence the elections and not help individuals pad their pockets by using their offices in the US like Kushners and Trumps.

    How many Barracks are there with the ear of the President of the US? They keeping popping up from all over the world?

  152. Disheartening, right? Makes you doubt if the word ‘democracy’ really applies if the public are lastnon the list of concerns for any government. Vote them in, then they ignore you and listen only to richer folk with priority access greased by cash.

  153. This is important. Lots of threads tie back to Barrack. He’s very careful but don’t assume he’s innocent. He’s facilitated Trump “deals” even recently. Prime example of a person who knows the danger of Trump but chooses to enrich himself at the expense of our country.

  154. The lesson of this story is that Trump's policies are predicated more on personal relationships than on strategic thinking. Which helps explain the trumpeting (no pun intended) of his personal relationship with Kim Jung Un.

  155. A great, insightful article about the financial machinations of Trump's business connections in the middle East. (1) Now we knew why Saudi Arabia and UAE are not on the Travel Ban proposed by Trump, even though the main terrorists of 9/11 who attacked our country came from Saudi Arabia.
    (2) Now we also know why JARED KUSHNER was appointed by Trump as his special advisor to the Middle East--it has nothing to do with making peace in the Middle East between the Israelis and the Palestinians but rather to help JK secure astonishing loans from the Saudis for his disastrously managed business empire which has been teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.
    (3) Fascinating how Trump's close business friends keep giving JK business loans. In a NYT profile article on Stephen Schwartzman a few Sundays ago it was revealed that SS gave JK a $ 400 M loan for his business empire.
    (4) No doubt that some Prince of the Middle East will eventually help bail out JK from his 666 Fifth Avenue debacle. When he goes to sleep at night , JK must sing that famous song, "Some Day My Prince Will Come."

  156. The notion that Tomas Barrack is in any way upstanding...ensconced in Santa Ynez, playing polo, in residence in the South of France, facilitating deals with the Saudis and Emiratis...ha! Look at the smelly company he keeps—Trump, Manafort, Gates, Kushner, the Middle Eastern princes—and the story is told. And, oh yes, there's the the Costa Smeralda tax fraud under investigation in Italy...

  157. WHEN is the investigation of Trump and the emoluments clause going to have some meaning? And what about "birds of a feather" and "lie down with dogs" have some meaning. Meanwhile, the middle east princes are as crooked as you can get...most obscene wealth is. And I am in trouble because I couldn't afford to pay my $283 taxes I owe and still buy food and meds. Something about our "democracy" and our government stink to high heaven.

  158. Ah yes, Saudi Arabia, from whence came almost all of the 9/11 terrorists, and the funding for their operation that killed thousands of Americans, which country and people are NOT on on the President's travel ban, because some of them are very rich and do business with Trump. Our country has been put up for sale to the rich and powerful of the most repressive regimes on earth by a money hungry President who was elected with the help of their money and disinformation campaigns. Well I feel safe, don't you?