Trump Associate Investigated For Saudi Ties – Story Gets Really Weird

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When Donald Trump brushed off the torture and murder of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi because Saudi Arabia had signed deals to buy arms from the United States, it seemed he was willing to sell out the country for foreign manufacturing dollars. Democrats, and even a few Republicans, made noise about blocking those sales, but in the end, the GOP fell in line and allowed the deal to move forward.

Even before that time, the Trump administration’s connection to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was a source of scrutiny, as were Trump’s ties to AMI’s David Pecker, who runs The National Enquirer. Pecker was found to have run “catch and kill” missions for Trump, offering to buy exclusive rights to stories of Trump’s extramarital affairs and then refusing to run them, effectively killing those stories since they couldn’t be printed elsewhere. When Trump’s campaign finance violations in the form of porn star payoffs came to light, Pecker came under federal investigation, as well.

Now, Pecker is once again under investigation, this time for some of the same ties the Trump family has been scrutinized over.

Mother Jones reports:

‘Earlier this year, federal investigators began requesting corporate documents and questioning staff at American Media Inc., the company run by Donald Trump’s longtime friend David Pecker, about a special issue of the National Enquirer it produced that lavished praise on Saudi Arabia and its controversial leader, Mohammed bin Salman, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the investigation. Gathering evidence through at least June and working at the direction of prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, FBI agents zeroed in on the circumstances behind the magazine’s publication and, according to one of the sources, whether AMI had engaged in illegal influence peddling on behalf of a foreign power.’

The National Enquirer is the same publication who blackmailed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with “sexting photos.” Trump had been openly calling out Bezos as a “lobbying” arm for Amazon through his ownership of The Washington Post. As it turns out, the murdered journalist named Jamal Khashoggi worked for The Washington Post, who immediately spoke out against Saudi Arabia. A whole lot of dots are being connected in this story.

‘This probe came amid a lurid controversy involving AMI, which until recently owned the National Enquirer, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. In February, Bezos accused the National Enquirer and AMI of trying to extort him over compromising photos he allegedly exchanged with his girlfriend. Gavin de Becker, a veteran private investigator working for Bezos, soon made a related charge: Saudi Arabia had swiped “private information” from the billionaire’s phone and was “in league” with the Enquirer to bring down Bezos. After de Becker went public with this allegation, in late March, FBI agents began interviewing AMI employees over the company’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.’

Although the investigation is still pending, a lot of unanswered questions seem rooted inside it. The connections between the Saudi royal family, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump himself, David Pecker and The National Enquirer, AMI, and Jamal Khashoggi are all becoming too entrenched within stories of corruption to be ignored.

‘The Saudis, the Bezos camp contended, had targeted the billionaire out of revenge: Bezos owns the Washington Post, where relentless coverage of the grisly death of its columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, had enraged the Saudi Crown Prince commonly known as MBS, who was implicated in ordering Khashoggi’s murder. For AMI, the motive was different, according to this narrative: Pecker was purportedly trying to cultivate business ties to the cloistered kingdom and was using his publication to target a mutual enemy of MBS and President Trump.’

Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license