The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

The princes, the president and the fortune seekers
The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

WASHINGTON (AP) – In a yearlong pursuit of money and influence, two American businessmen played Middle East countries against each other, as they leveraged connections stretching from Persian Gulf palaces to the Oval Office into millions of dollars in contracts.

An investigation by The Associated Press found that fundraiser Elliott Broidy and George Nader, an adviser to the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, pushed the interests of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates at the highest levels of the U.S. government.

As they angled for lucrative contracts, they passed messages purportedly from princes of the two Gulf countries to President Donald Trump.

The Associated Press reviewed hundreds of pages of correspondence between Broidy and Nader and conducted dozens of interviews with the people involved.

Nader’s lawyer declined comment. Broidy denied any wrongdoing.

FILE – In this May 20, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. In emails obtained by The Associated Press, George Nader claims he later met with Mohammed bin Salman, who by then had been elevated to crown prince, and Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in a lobbying effort to alter U.S. policy in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)