A top fundraiser for President Trump received millions of dollars from a political adviser to the United Arab Emirates last April, just weeks before he began handing out a series of large political donations to US lawmakers considering legislation targeting Qatar, the UAE's chief rival in the Persian Gulf, an AP investigation has found. George Nader, an adviser to the UAE who is now a witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into foreign meddling in American politics, wired $2.5 million to the Trump fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, through a company in Canada, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The AP's sources say Nader paid the money to Broidy to bankroll an effort to persuade the US to take a hard line against Qatar, a long-time American ally but now a bitter adversary of the UAE. A month after he received the money, Broidy sponsored a conference on Qatar's alleged ties to Islamic extremism. During the event, Republican Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced he was introducing legislation that would brand Qatar as a terrorist-supporting state. In July 2017, two months after Royce introduced the bill, Broidy gave the California congressman $5,400 in campaign gifts, the maximum allowed by law. The donations were part of just under $600,000 that Broidy has given to GOP members of Congress and Republican political committees since he began the push for the legislation fingering Qatar.