On Thursday, Judd Legum laid out in his Popular Information blog the full extent to which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has poured money into the Trump family — as former President Donald Trump launches his third consecutive campaign for the White House ahead of 2024.
"The coverage of his announcement was broadly critical, focusing on the poor results of the candidates he endorsed in the 2022 midterms. Reports also noted some other issues complicating Trump's run, including his role in fomenting an insurrection and the federal criminal investigation into his handling of classified documents," reported Legum. "These stories virtually ignored one of the most significant developments since Trump left the White House: his expanding financial relationship with Saudi Arabia. Since Trump left office, entities controlled by the Saudi government, a repressive regime responsible for the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, have sent billions to Trump and his family members."
The total investment from the Saudis, Legum estimated, is in the "billions."
To begin with, wrote Legum, "The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) has spent billions creating LIV, a new golf tour. Two of LIV's eight tournaments in 2022 were held at Trump-owned golf courses, including the season-ending championship at Trump Doral in Florida." Then there is the PIF's investment into Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, through his real estate business: "The full board of PIF, led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, overruled the committee's recommendation and decided to invest $2 billion. Under the deal, Kushner will receive a $25 million annual management fee, plus a percentage of any profits." This deal was approved by the Saudi royals over the objections of PIF officials who recommended against it.
And then there is another Trump licensing deal in the works with a private company closely linked to the Saudi royals, Legum continued: "Earlier this week, Trump 'struck a deal with a Saudi-based real estate company to license its name to a housing and golf complex that will be built in Oman.' The agreement was made 'with Dar Al Arkan, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest real estate companies, for the project.' Under the arrangement, Trump will receive 'a cut of condo sales or golf course revenue in exchange for allowing its name to be used.' The proceeds could be considerable since the project is estimated to cost $1.6 billion and 'will include an estimated 3,500 residential units, luxury retail and 450 rooms at the hotels.'"
All of this comes amid reporting that MBS "preferred" Trump as president and privately mocks President Joe Biden. It also comes as Saudi Arabia brokered a global drawdown of oil production by OPEC, reportedly overriding objections from other OPEC member states, a move that the U.S. claims is a deliberate attempt to hurt its economy and blunt the effectiveness of European sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.
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