A Lebanese-American businessman worked for more than a year with an influential Trump fundraiser to push Emirati and Saudi interests in the White House.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that George Nader, a businessman and adviser to the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, sought to cultivate Elliott Broidy, the Republican National Committee's deputy finance chairman, as a tool of influence in President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE's White House.
Nader is now cooperating with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's team of investigators, who are said to be examining foreign influence inside the Trump White House, the Times reported.
Nader and Broidy sought to push Trump to do away with Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea extended Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump MORE and take a hard-line stance on Iran and Qatar, according to the Times.
Trump ousted Tillerson last week, moving to replace him with CIA Director Mike PompeoMike PompeoWhy is Trump undermining his administration's historic China policies? Keeping the world's focus on cyber State Department watchdog probing whether Trump aides took gifts meant for foreign officials MORE. The president has also taken a firm stance against Iran and Qatar.
In turn, Nader enticed Broidy by helping to deliver more than $200 million in contracts with the UAE. He also praised Broidy's ability to "handle," according to emails obtained by the Times.
Documents obtained by the Times also suggest that Nader presented himself as an intermediary for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
At one point last year, Nader also pushed Broidy to try to set up a meeting away from the White House between Trump and Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, according to the Times.
In a report prepared for Nader detailing an Oval Office meeting with Trump, Broidy acknowledged that he pressed Trump for the meeting. The request, however, was ultimately blocked by national security adviser H.R. McMaster.