We really didn’t need more concrete evidence that Trump is bought and sold by one-percenters, and yet here we go. Vice reports that Trump’s first 2016 campaign chairman and now convicted criminal, Paul Manafort, orchestrated a scheme to let the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia edit one of Trump’s stump speeches focused on energy. He did this in conjunction with Thomas Barrack Jr., himself a Republican megadonor who led Trump’s inaugural committee, which is also under scrutiny for allegations of corruption. As stated in the piece by Vice, this was done “all in what appears to be an attempt to allow nuclear-tech sharing that could have led to a lucrative deal for Barrack, to finance the construction of nuclear power plants in the Middle East.”
Naturally, a few questions logically follow. Was Trump in on this? If so, was he getting a kickback? How have the UAE and Saudi Arabia influenced Trump with this and other potential improprieties? Has this happened with other nations or groups? My thoughts: If Trump wasn’t in on it, I’d be surprised. Trump would likely not risk something like this without getting a cut. Saudi influence in particular has been a flashpoint with Congress, as Trump repeatedly gives way to Saudi interests at the cost of American interests. Trump’s unusual defenses of dictators the world over, not just Mohammed Bin Salman and other Saudi Royals, might have deeper roots than previously thought.
This revelation, that Trump’s team and by extension Trump himself, let foreign powers edit a speech of his as a presidential candidate is shocking. Democrats need to take this information and run with it. It’s a clear-as-day example of Trump’s disinterest in American wellbeing and compulsion to self-serve at the costs of hundreds of millions of people. Listen up Democrats: this is gold and you can’t let this slip through the cracks. Imagine the Republican response if Bernie Sanders had a speech about healthcare edited by the Norweigians.
The New York Times reports that Barrack has to-date gained around $1.5 billion from Saudi and UAE transactions since Trump’s nomination in 2016. Imagine if Trump asked for even a few percent commission from these deals, which were probably possible in part because of Barrack’s close association with Trump. Thankfully, this information was obtained by the House Oversight Committee, part of 6000 pages of newly released documents, and should be a sufficient push for more investigations. I just hope House Democrats can parlay this revelation into a media disaster for Trump.