Top Trump Aide Lobbied for Saudis Against Embassy Move To Jerusalem

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Donald Trump’s new top aide Paul Manafort once lobbied against moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, putting him at odds with a key pro-Israel position and his boss.

One of Donald Trump’s top aides once lobbied Congress to kill an effort to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Paul Manafort, the aide dubbed Trump’s “new right-hand man” and his point-person on delegate strategy at the coming Republican convention, worked the corridors of power in Washington for the Saudi government in the 1980s.

The promise of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem has been a mainstay of political appeals to the pro-Israel community for many years. But in 1984 Manafort lobbied on behalf of the Saudis against House and Senate legislation that would have pressed the U.S. government to make this move, according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act disclosure, which requires that lobbyists working for foreign governments publicize their work.

Donald Trump’s new top aide Paul Manafort once lobbied against moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, putting him at odds with a key pro-Israel position and his boss.

One of Donald Trump’s top aides once lobbied Congress to kill an effort to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Paul Manafort, the aide dubbed Trump’s “new right-hand man” and his point-person on delegate strategy at the coming Republican convention, worked the corridors of power in Washington for the Saudi government in the 1980s.

The promise of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem has been a mainstay of political appeals to the pro-Israel community for many years. But in 1984 Manafort lobbied on behalf of the Saudis against House and Senate legislation that would have pressed the U.S. government to make this move, according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act disclosure, which requires that lobbyists working for foreign governments publicize their work.

Manafort’s ties with the Saudi government also conflict with his new boss’s suggestions earlier this year that the Saudis were involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi—take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents,” Trump said in February, in an apparent reference to the 28 redacted pages in from 2003 Senate report on the 9/11 attacks. A 60 Minutes report this week suggested the possibility of a Saudi support network for the terrorist hijackers while there were in the United States, bringing the issue yet again into public view.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Manafort’s work for the Saudis didn’t stop with his lobbying on the location of the U.S. embassy in Israel: His work was evidently sufficient for him to maintain the client. Throughout 1985, he was paid to advise the Saudi government on U.S. arms sales to the Saudis, energy policy, and America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia more broadly. For this Manafort was paid more than $300,000, or more than $660,000 in current terms.

And in the first half of 1986, Manafort lobbied the Reagan White House, the State Department and Congressional staff on a proposed arms sale to Saudi Arabia, netting him a quarter-million dollars—which today is worth more than half a million.

Via Daily Beast

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