Trump donors paid Rick Gates for advice on new administration: report

Trump donors paid Rick Gates for advice on new administration: report
© Greg Nash

Two major donors to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE paid former campaign aide Richard Gates hundreds of thousands of dollars combined for insights on how to work with the Trump administration, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing documents and hacked emails.

The Times reported that Gates started receiving payments on a monthly basis after Trump took office in early 2017 from companies owned or headed by GOP mega-donor Elliott Broidy and Trump inaugural committee chairman Thomas Barrack.

Broidy, who previously served as a member of the Republican National Committee's (RNC) finance team, paid Gates at least $125,000 in exchange for advice on the Trump administration’s foreign policy plans and on how to go about securing contracts for his associates, the Times reported.


The report cited hacked emails of Broidy’s that were provided to the newspaper and other outlets by an anonymous individual or group that opposed Broidy's political work on behalf of other countries. The Times said it confirmed details of Broidy’s arrangement with Gates with additional sources.

In addition to Broidy, the Times reported that Colony NorthStar, a company led by Barrack, paid Gates $20,000 a month for consulting work starting in early 2017.

Barrack is a longtime friend of the president's and led his inaugural committee.

Gates has since pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation to charges of lying to the FBI and conspiracy against the U.S. as part of a deal to cooperate with Mueller.

Gates was charged in October along with former Trump campaign chairman and longtime associate Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortWhite House braces for Mueller report Hillicon Valley: Trump pushes to speed up 5G rollout | Judge hits Roger Stone with full gag order | Google ends forced arbitration | Advertisers leave YouTube after report on pedophile ring Manafort to be sentenced for bank, tax fraud in Virginia on March 8 MORE. Both men were charged with money laundering, tax fraud and conspiracy against the United States.

Manafort's trial is set to begin next week in Virginia. 

Meanwhile, Broidy was embroiled in scandal shortly after the FBI raided the home, office and hotel room of Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen in April.

The Wall Street Journal reported days after the raid that Cohen negotiated a $1.6 million "hush money" payment on behalf of Broidy to a Playboy model he impregnated.

Broidy admitted in a statement that he had a "consensual relationship" with a Playboy model. He later stepped down from his post as RNC deputy finance chairman.