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The New York Times broke some new news on Wednesday about George Nader, the Lebanese-American lobbyist and adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, the leader of the United Arab Emirates, who's become a cooperating witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mueller's probe has expanded into questions over whether the UAE and Saudi Arabia have sought to buy influence with the Trump administration, or maybe funnel in illegal money bribes to Trump people, or ... something something, this whole UAE angle of the probe is confusing as SHIT.


One place Nader's cooperation bore fruit recently was in exposing that Aryan Blackwater sadist/Betsy DeVos's baby brother Erik Prince lied his Aryan face off to Congress about a meeting he had in the Seychelles in January of 2017 (during the Trump transition) with Kirill Dmitriev, the head of a large Russian state-owned investment fund and a known pal of Vladimir Putin's. The meeting Prince described as a chance Tinder date in a hotel bar, where nothing was exchanged but pleasantries and coy glances, was actually part of an effort to set up a back channel between Trump people and the Russians, just like we originally thought before Prince started very obviously lying about it.

(We still don't know why they needed a "back channel," since Trump was to be inaugurated NINE DAYS LATER, at which point they could have totally used a "front channel" to talk to Russia, like regular presidents. OH IDEA, maybe Trump and Russia are doing bad things we're not supposed to know about, probably related to LITERALLY EVERY TRUMP ASSHOLE promising to rip up all the Russian sanctions so they could all get rich by re-colonizing the Middle East and dividing up the spoils, WHOA IF TRUE.)

Nader, through his work for the UAE, brokered that meeting between Erik Prince and the Russian (and he told that to Mueller's grand jury), and now, NYT is giving us more information about Nader's very deep ties to Russia, which we think helps us get closer to drawing a direct line that goes from Trump people through UAE people, and finally all the way to Russia. For one thing, Nader has "longstanding ties" to Dmitriev, the Russian fund manager. For another thing:

Mr. Nader’s dealings with Russia date at least to 2012, when he helped broker a controversial $4.2 billion deal for the government of Iraq to buy Russian weapons. At the time, he was an informal adviser to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq, and he accompanied Mr. Maliki to Moscow in September 2012 to sign the arms deal at a meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. [...]

Earlier that year, Mr. Nader also attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an invitation-only conference organized by senior officials close to Mr. Putin that Russia presents as its answer to the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland. Mr. Nader is on a list of participants from 2012. [...]

Since then, according to people familiar with his travels, Mr. Nader has returned frequently to Russia on behalf of the Emirati government. He even had his picture taken with Mr. Putin, according to one person who has seen the photograph, although it is unclear when the picture was taken.

This guy gets around a lot! (In Russia! With Putin's closest pals!) And we already know a lot of (possibly very dirty) money was traveling through Nader's hands, which then meandered its way somehow (COUGH money laundering maybe probably!) to Trump associates in the United States. Was that money just coming from the Emiratis and the Saudis, for whom Nader has also worked? Or was some of it Russian?

On top of the Seychelles meeting, the Times reports that the Mueller team is looking at another early 2017 meeting we didn't know about previously, between Nader, Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, and one of Jared's pals, a hedge fund manager by the name of Richard Gerson. What's that about? Fuck if we know at this point!

When Robert Mueller's boys and girls nabbed Nader, they did it aggressively, meeting him at the airport and stealing all his Obamaphones and burner phones. NYT reports that Mueller's been doing a lot more of that lately, with an Australian money man connected to Nader named Joel Zamel. CNN reports that Mueller is also meeting Russian oligarchs at airports and stealing THEIR stuff, to find out just how much dirty money they've been funneling into the Trump campaign and administration. You get those oligarchs, Robert Mueller!

Basically, if you are a Trump-Russia criminal, or if you are friends with one, you'd probably best not try to fly to America and go through customs, or you are going to be met by some new FBI friends!

What do all these new connections mean? We still do not know, so stop asking us! We are just trying to tell you about all these new characters, as we learn about them, so that when it all comes together and makes sense, we can say OMG IT MAKES SENSE NOW, IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FACE THE WHOLE TIME!

It just sucks that at this rate it's going to be about 50 years before we get to that point, to which we reply OMG FUCK MY LIFE UGGHHHHHHHHHHHH.

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[New York Times]

Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

Follow him on Twitter RIGHT HERE.

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