The American political circus is trembling violently again, in a ring where vultures of every stripe have been caught in a chokehold. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not thinking of finding a dignified solution anymore – he is simply trying to find a way out of a very difficult situation. Like the mythical Sisyphus, Mueller makes a tremendous effort but fails to move apart all the political vultures, who are equally weary of all the bickering which has made a circus out of the United States.
Many American media outlets believe that there will be repercussions for the US politicians who accused President Donald Trump of “collusion” with the Russian government, following the publication of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Political commentator, author, and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi filed a lawsuit accusing Robert Mueller of forcing him to lie about facts related to President Donald Trump in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
More of the smoke and mirrors which projected the “Russian intervention” that poisoned relations between the United States and Russia came crashing down, splattering many American politicians with dirt. According to the Daily Beast, since the story of Russian interference in the elections has been worn thin for a good while now, although it is still resuscitated at regular intervals, Robert Mueller has turned his attention to the Middle East and attempts from Middle Eastern countries to influence the American elections.
But this time there is more than just rumors and words, there are resounding facts and arguments that speak for themselves. For example, it is no secret but a well-known fact that many individuals from the Middle East are still bankrolling Washington’s politicians, trying to influence the newly elected President’s policy. Various witnesses involved in Donald Trump’s campaign were questioned about talks they had had with representatives from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Israel. The subject of these meetings ranged from manipulating social networks to direct bribes – donations made to help with Donald Trump’s election campaign so that he would pursue a policy to overthrow the current regime in Iran if he got into the White House.
With this in mind, you may recall where the President-elect made his first trip—it was not a world capital—Trump visited the dehydrated, sand-filled desert of Riyadh. Once he got there, Donald Trump was not greeted as a democratic President, but he was received as if he were an Eastern monarch – every meeting with the important American guest was filled with pomposity, ceremony and flamboyance. Most notably, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud awarded US President Donald Trump the Kingdom’s highest merit award–the Order of King Abdulaziz. As a rule, this gold medal on a large chain worth several million dollars is awarded only to the monarchs, a list which now includes “the leader of the Free World”. Apparently, Donald Trump was very pleased with this gift, since unlike other gifts, the order would not have to be handed over to the State Treasury for the benefit of the American people.
The military contractors also benefited from an arms deal and immediately signed contracts for the sale of military equipment worth $110 billion to Saudi Arabia. An agreement was also made to sell over $300 billion worth of American arms to the Saudis in the near future. The representatives of American companies who actively subsidized Donald Trump’s election campaign expecting to make huge profits rubbed their hands together with glee and knocked back expensive branded bottles of posh whiskey–the fear of strict Saudi laws banning alcohol consumption in the Muslim country did not hold them back.
By the way, there have been reports that the fund for Donald Trump’s re-election for a second presidential term has already collected over 130 billion dollars! This is in comparison to Barack Obama, who only collected 4 billion, and Bush Jr. who had even less at 3 billion. What’s so special about Trump’s campaign? As the saying goes, “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” This is where Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be asking the question: where is this huge amount of money coming from and should foreigners, in this case the Saudis, have the right to donate money to re-elect their preferred President of the United States? And there is no need to launch a new investigation to prove that the Saudi King allocates money to bribe American politicians–this is an open secret everyone has known about for ages. And while it was possible to expose a trail of “Russian meddling” without any facts or objective arguments, there is quite a lot of evidence of Saudi funds.
The US Department of the Treasury put a figure on their public debt to Saudi Arabia, Bloomberg reported. According to the Treasury, US debt reached $116.8 billion in March this year. How will the US President behave with a country that he owes a huge amount of money to? The answer to that question also explains why Donald Trump does not hesitate to say that he thinks the Saudi King is a great guy who he is able to work with, despite global condemnation of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the order of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (CIA conclusion). After all, he would not want the Saudi King to change his mind about buying the old American weapons that all the military warehouses are armed to the teeth with and turn to the treacherous Russians.
It would seem that money has completely blinkered Donald Trump, which might come as a surprise since the President is far from being poor. So what can be said about other figures under the Trump administration – the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton who have just embarked on the path of greed?
It should be said that like the other monarchies in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia relies on help from a wide range of American lobbying organizations to bribe officials of every rank in Washington’s administration. The cost of lobbying is nearly immeasurable due to the secretive nature of these connections, the result of which is a lack of reliable statistics. Their size of donations depends on the complexity of the issue and how long it takes to deal with the problem, etc. Experts estimate that donations could range from hundreds of millions to several billion US dollars.
Who directly lobbies for Arabian interests? There is a typical list of lobbyists: business councils/clubs, multinational corporations, consulting firms, think tanks, industrial companies and other organizations. Even sports associations and clubs may be involved in the lobbying. Lobbyists are pushing initiatives that aim to have more of an impact on officials than on public opinion. Lobbying is legalized in the United States, and there are about 10 thousand lobbying firms operating officially in the US, some of which are connected with the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in some way or another, which is where these lobbyists receive their orders from.
The Arabian monarchies, especially Riyadh, rely on services provided by professional mediators for interacting with the authorities. Saudi Arabia shows the greatest interest in lobbying by funding over 20 legal and lobbying organizations. In order to attract support from members of Congress in the Democratic Party, Saudi Arabia hired the firm Patton Boggs, and the Republican Loeffler Group also works for the Saudis, which is headed by Thomas Loeffler who is a long-time ally and fundraiser for John McCain. Establishing relations with members of Congress is promoted by the companies working with the Saudis: ExxonMobil, Chevron, Koch Industries, etc. Friendly connections with members of Congress are necessary in order to promote energy partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States, to keep pressure on Iran, and to ensure the supply of weapons to the Syrian opposition, etc.
Qorvis Communications has been promoting a positive image of Saudi Arabia in the media for several years. In addition, the government of Saudi Arabia retained Pillsbury Winthrop Show Pittman for its Royal Embassy in Washington D.C., which provides legal services and public representation in Congress and the Trump administration, and also hired DLA Piper, Targeted Victory and Zignal Labs to provide the Saudi Royal Embassy in the United States with consulting services and media monitoring. The Saudi government has signed deals with the large PR company Edelman and lobbying firm Podesta Group, which was the major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Saudi rulers seem to know the old proverb very well: “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
This gives Robert Mueller a good scope of work. We may soon be hearing news of a new Middle Eastern exposé. But it is unlikely. You can disparage and ridicule the Russians, but this is out of the question with the Saudis, who purchase American arms and have deposits in the US banking system that exceed 700 billion dollars. That is why if the Special Counsel even looks in the wrong direction he might find himself looking for a new job.
Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.