Andy Khawaja, a Lebanese-American businessman, is making some wild claims to the conservative Spectator publication that he helped Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates illegally funnel millions of dollars to President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016.
In an interview with Spectator’s Paul Wood, Khawaja claims that he sold technology to political operative George Nader that helped him conceal millions of dollars’ worth of donations from Saudi Arabia and UAE as small contributions made by American citizens.
“He says that to keep it secret, they disguised the money as small donations from Americans, using stolen identities and ‘virtual credit cards’ or gift cards — donations of less than $200 do not have to be reported to the Federal Election Commission and made public,” Wood writes. “He claims the Saudis and the Emiratis were able to make thousands of such small donations at a time using the latest payment processing technology.”
Khawaja tells Wood that Nader regularly boasted to him about how Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Russia were all in on helping Trump become president — and that Nader even sent Wood photos of himself posing with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman as proof of his access to major world leaders.
Wood urges caution about accepting Khawaja’s claims at face value, however, and notes that both Nader and Khawaja were actually indicted by the Department of Justice for making illegal straw donations to Hillary Clinton during her presidential run against Trump. Nader earlier this year also pleaded guilty to bringing an underage boy into the United States for sex and to possessing child pornography.
Nonetheless, Wood cites two additional witnesses who have corroborated Khawaja’s basic account of Nader seeking to help UAE use payment technology to illegally funnel money into Trump’s campaign.