Washington: A report in the Wall Street Journal has revealed that Qatar tried to lobby 250 individuals it felt were “influential” in the Trump administration by offering them trips to Doha.
According to the daily, Joey Allaham, restaurateur in New York, and his business partner and lobbyist Nick Muzin courted those individuals, including Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and attorney Alan Dershowitz, who travelled to Doha.
Dershowitz wrote a column supporting Qatar after his trip. Dershowitz told The Wall Street Journal that he felt tricked because he was unaware that the purpose of the trip would be to use him for political gain. “If I had known their purpose with me was maybe to impact the president, I would not have gone,” he said.
Huckabee, on the other hand, was reportedly paid $50,000 by Allaham. He did not speak to the paper.
Allaham told the paper: “We want to create a campaign where we are getting into his [President Trump’s] head as much as possible.”
Doha spent $24 million on lobbying in Washington in the past year and a half. Among those hired was former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who said he worked for Qatar on an investigation and visited Doha just weeks before becoming Trump’s personal lawyer in April.