Trump ally Tom Barrack accused of acting as UAE foreign agent

Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman breaks down Tom Barrack’s indictment for allegedly acting as an unregistered agent for the United Arab Emirates.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Former advisor to former President Donald Trump was charged today with illegal foreign lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. Our senior columnist, Rick Newman, here now with more on this developing story. So, Rick, we're talking about Tom Barrack here. And I know just days before his arrest, he was talking about Trump and he was talking about real estate.

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, this is not trivial. These details actually matter. So Barrack is a personal friend and a business associate of Trump. He has helped him do deals in the past. And apparently, he was talking directly to the president and to other people in the Trump administration trying to influence US policy that would affect the United Arab Emirates, the UAE.

At the same time, the UAE was funding his private equity firm. So he had a financial stake in the outcome, because he was basically doing this on behalf of clients or investors, if you will. And he never disclosed any of this the way you're supposed to. You're supposed to register as a lobbyist for a foreign government if you're going to do this kind of thing. And he never did this.

So the UAE has a direct interest in several different types of US policy. Number one, it's a bitter foe of Iran, which sits right across the Persian Gulf from the UAE. So it's very interested in what happens with US policy toward Iran's nuclear program, for example. And the UAE is also a very large purchaser of us weapons systems. So there are a lot of things the UAE would want to influence US policy for. And Tom Barrack, Trump's personal friend, was apparently helping them do that without telling anybody.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, thanks so much, Rick Newman, for bringing us that story.

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