It is not a surprise these days that Mr. Trump’s White House is linked to criminals. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation alone has resulted in indictments of four Trump advisers, 14 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said:
‘The president hired a bunch of criminals to run and staff his campaign and put one in charge of national security.’
Now, on Monday, it was reported that another top Trump aide has been linked to more criminal overtures. Several sources reported that Joe Hagin, Trump’s deputy chief of staff for operations, worked with Libyan expatriate Basit Igtet, who as it turns out, was deeply involved with NXIVM, the celebrity sex cult whose leaders are now under federal indictment.
NXIVM was at the center of a major sex-trafficking case, and Igtet’s wife heir Sara Bronfman helped keep the cult heavily afloat with tens of millions of dollars.
According to BuzzFeed News:
‘Basit Igtet, the Libyan client, was an exile eyeing a triumphant comeback at the dawn of the Arab Spring. Hagin and his firm worked with Igtet from 2011 until at least 2013: First, Hagin would help him build support for the rebel government that toppled Muammar al-Qaddafi, and later he and his colleagues would run an international treasure hunt to try to recover Libya’s stolen billions in exchange for a massive payoff for his firm, according to three sources.’
‘But Hagin’s firm, seeing the chance to reap millions, viewed Igtet as a golden goose and continued to work with the couple even as their associations with NXIVM became increasingly public.’
BuzzFeed also reported:
‘A Vanity Fair article in 2010 titled “The Heiresses and the Cult” brought national attention to Sara Bronfman’s involvement with the group, with the New York Post following up that same year with reporting that Sara’s father, Edgar Bronfman, was considering suing to stop her and her sister from funding the group. In February 2012, after Hagin was already working with Igtet, a newspaper in Albany described the sexual practices affiliated with NXIVM, reporting that Keith Raniere, the cult’s founder, told a woman that having a threesome with him would “cure the pain of childhood molestation,” and that doing business with him meant sleeping with him. The newspaper described multiple cases of alleged sexual abuse. Bronfman and Igtet were reported to be engaged by that March.’
According to BuzzFeed :
‘Feisal Feituri, an associate of Igtet’s, declined to discuss specifics of Hagin and Igtet’s business arrangement, but he said Igtet is “still an ally and a friend” of Hagin’s.’
Hagin is a well-known aide who has worked for every Republican president since Reagan and has been described as the “White House wise man.” During Obama’s tenure as president, Hagin launched a consulting firm called Command Consulting Group. The group marketed itself as “a global security and intelligence consulting firm that provides advisory services to governments, corporations, and high net worth individuals.”
A source familiar with Igtet and Hagin’s working agreement said:
‘From the beginning they always looked at [Igtet] as, “This guy is bizarre, but he’s an important client.” They made a lot of money off him.’
Reportedly, Igtet tried to involve Hagin in the sex cult, and often referred to his scandalous business as “human potential.” Hagin was invited to “an intensive week about human potential” at a ski resort village in the French Alps, but says he declined the offer.
Here are a few comments from Twitter:
Featured image by Alex Wong/Getty Images