Shortly after Donald Trump was announced as the Republican Party’s official nominee for president in 2016, one of his top advisers sent a draft of a future speech to foreign officials with the United Arab Emirates, according to emails and text messages found by a House Oversight Committee Investigation.
“The Trump Administration has virtually obliterated the lines normally separating government policy making from corporate and foreign interests,” House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) wrote in the committee’s report.
Two weeks before Trump was to deliver a speech announcing his “America First” energy policy, investment tycoon Thomas Barrack sent a draft of the speech to Rashid al-Malik, a former business associate in UAE.
“What do you think of his energy message given to American executives with a pro Middle East point of view — for you and Saeed to rebiew [sic] for me quickly,” Barrack wrote. “I need a few pro Middle East aspects.”
An hour later, al-Malik responded, “This is what I got from them.” House investigators are operating under the belief that “them” refers to foreign officials in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.
Among other requests, al-Malik requested that Trump include the line, “We can and should support reform in the Middle East, in the process thereby reducing the appeal of Islamic terrorism, and support our allies who are fighting our enemies.”
While many of al-Malik’s suggestions apparently weren’t included, Trump’s speech did promise that “we will work with our Gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship as part of our anti-terrorism strategy.”
Barrack pitched al-Malik’s suggestions to then-campaign manager Paul Manafort the next day, saying of the language, “This is probably as close as I can get without crossing a lot of lines.”
“This is the most likely final version of the speech. It has the language you want,” campaign manager Paul Manafort told Barrack in an email on the day of Trump’s speech. Manafort is now in prison for crimes unrelated to his work in the Trump campaign. His attorneys declined to comment for this story.
The revelations contained within the emails reviewed by the House Oversight Committee come just days after President Trump attacked Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings and his Congressional District in West Baltimore as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
The White House declined to comment on this story.
(Featured image: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
Nathan Wellman is a Grit Post contributing editor in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @LIGHTNINGWOW. You can also email him at info AT gritpost DOT com.