Qatar government officials collected what they allege is damaging information on the United Arab Emirates’ influence on senior White House adviser Jared Kushner in secret meetings, but chose not to hand the evidence over to special counsel Robert Mueller, NBC News reported Monday.
The information included efforts by the United Arab Emirates, Lebanese-American businessman George Nader and GOP donor Elliott Broidy to get the Trump administration to oppose Qatar, three sources familiar with discussions told NBC News. The Qatari officials, who earlier this year visited Washington, D.C., reportedly decided against sharing the details with Mueller to avoid negatively impacting their relations with the Trump administration.
The Qataris reportedly believe the blockade was influenced by the meetings with Nader, Broidy and the Emiratis, as well as the Qatari government’s refusal to finance a troubled New York City property owned by Jared Kushner's family-run real estate company Kushner Cos. a month earlier.
Trump backed the blockade last June. A Qatari delegation met with Trump administration officials in late January and early February of this year to talk about national security. Last week, a spokesperson for the Qatari embassy in Washington, D.C., stated that Qatar will not be speaking with Mueller.
The White House and a spokesman for Kushner did not respond to a request for comment from Newsweek.
But a spokesman for Kushner's lawyer said Trump’s son-in-law was "a point person for completely appropriate contacts from foreign officials and he did not mix his or his former company's business in those contacts and any claim otherwise is false," according to NBC News.
Kushner Cos. spokeswoman Chris Taylor told Newsweek earlier this month that reports that brokering attempts occurred are untrue.
“To be clear, we did not meet with anyone from the Qatari government to solicit sovereign funds for any of our projects,” Taylor stated. “To suggest otherwise is inaccurate and false.”
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