UAE, Saudi 'bought election for Trump', Lebanese-American businessman claims

UAE, Saudi 'bought election for Trump', Lebanese-American businessman claims
UAE, Saudi 'bought election for Trump', Lebanese-American businessman claims

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Saudi Arabia and the UAE funnelled millions of dollars to US President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign using an online payment method, a Lebanese-American businessman has claimed.

Andy Khawaja, founder and CEO of the Allied Wallet online payment service, said in an interview with The Spectator US that online tools sold by his firm were used to create virtual credit and gift cards that enabled the alleged donations to take place.

The tools, Khawaja claimed, were sold to George Nader - a convicted paedophile and adviser to the UAE's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. 

Using this method, Khawaja said the two Gulf states were able to pass off tens, or possibly hundreds of millions of dollars in small donations to the Trump campaign.

Under US law, contributions of less than $200 do not need to be reported to the Federal Election Commission.

Khawaja, who was indicted alongside Nader for making illegal straw donations to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, claims the information he holds has made him a target.

"First, they destroyed my business. Now they’re coming after me," Khawaja said in the Spectator report, without specifying who he was referring to.

According to the report, two witnesses have corroborated Khawaja's claims.

Since Trump's election victory in 2016, the businessman-turned-president's campaign finances have come under heavy scrutiny, particularly due to alleged Russian interference in the election.

Following an investigation led by former FBI chief Robert Mueller, a 448-page report on alleged Russian interference was produced last year. Despite the damning evidence outlined by Mueller, no charges were brought against Trump.

The report documents extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians, including attempts to cooperate or collude, neither of which is a specific crime.

Nader, who pleaded guilty to two additional sex crimes earlier this year, acted as a witness in the Mueller probe.

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