What we know about Nader is that one of the reasons why he moved to the UAE is that he believed that by staying under the wing of friend and business associate Erik Prince, he could use his charm with MbZ to pull off a big consulting deal. Indeed, just last year both he and his new partner Broidy—Trump’s key fundraiser with a checkered past—had the sweetest of deals set up with MbZ, which was gaining momentum.
Yet MbZ also had big plans for Nader. He sent Nader earlier in 2016 to Israel to cultivate better relations with them as they hoped Trump could win the Presidency—a key talking point of a Red Sea meeting with Arab leaders which he set up on a yacht in March 2015. But also, a failure, when Jordan refused later to join what ultimately became the Qatar blockade.
Nader is also reported during this period to have been used to pass messages from Iran’s elite guard back to MbZ and MbS.
Finally, Nader’s long list of failures as a broker and middleman came to an end.
Trump and That $2.5 Million UAE Payment
In April 2017, Nader wired $2.5 million to Broidy, through a company in Canada. The goal was to persuade the U.S to take a hard line against Qatar, an erstwhile American ally, but now a bitter adversary of both the UAE and Saudi Arabia—and ultimately to convince Trump to shift US troops from their base at Al Udeid in Qatar to the UAE.
Is this cash payment the heart of the FBI investigation? Incredibly, Trump took six months after taking office before making any visit on the world stage of any ally, waiting until May 2017, just days after this money was wired from the UAE, to go ahead with the extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia. At the incongruous gathering, crystallized in history by the bizarre photo of himself, the Saudi King, and President Sisi of Egypt holding a glass sphere and gazing awkwardly at the camera, he spoke out against Qatar without actually naming the country. Three weeks later, Trump tweeted that he was the mastermind behind the Saudi move to isolate the tiny gas-rich state which has close ties with Iran and supports the Muslim Brotherhood.
Given this timeline of events and the confidence the Saudis had with their erroneous, if not idiotic, decision to go ahead with the Qatar blockade (which has massively backfired), was this $2.5 million a bribe to Trump? Was Nader, who posed for a photo with Trump at an event in Texas in October 2018 after donating $180,000 to the Republicans, the bagman handling the dirty money?
For eight months, the Lebanese-American businessman had been living off $36 million as a down payment from the UAE towards an intelligence contract. CIA officers changed his name to “Vader” so that a search in their database for criminal convictions would not show up, thus allowing him to get close to President Trump.
But analyzing further the role of the odious Nader, it becomes clear that in the UAE, he is more than just a fixer. It would appear that he has been allowed to put together a billion-dollar defense deal, presumably with hefty commissions built in, between the US and the UAE. Could this be the mechanism to hide dirty money flowing back to Trump from both Dubai and Riyadh? It remains a mystery for now.
Is it likely that the $2.5 million was a blunder from Trump’s side and that realizing the mistake which couldn’t be undone, that Nader’s business dealings in the UAE would be a much better bet at covering up what might be the lion’s share of Trump’s already massive $30 million-dollar campaign fund? Is this money, donated by US business cronies, actually from the UAE via inflated invoices for defense or other deals, procured by Nader?
Nader’s partner in the US, Broidy, has a defense firm and was reported to be training soldiers in the UAE and cashing in on a special relationship between Trump and both the UAE and Saudis, assisted by Nader who oiled the wheels and no doubt introduced Broidy to other Middle Eastern leaders who wanted a piece of the action. Broidy is so hungry for cash that he is even reported to have offered deals to Russian businessmen to have their companies removed from a sanctions list.
In any event, it is likely that both Broidy and MBZ are using Nader, who was convicted in the Czech republic in 2003 for abusing under age boys, as an expendable messenger and procurer of a Trump slush fund which uses the masquerade of lucrative US arms/defense deals as a veil.
Catch Me if You Can
A champion prevaricator, who had delusional views about himself and dreamed of being a player in the Middle East, Nader was, for all of the 1980s a failed magazine publisher who, by his own admission, knew nothing about the Middle East and even less about publishing or journalism.
Nader was perfect for such a role as he was in many respects a typical, uneducated, Lebanese Christian from a small town in Northern Lebanon who epitomized everything bad about someone from the Diaspora. A champion prevaricator, who had delusional views about himself and dreamed of being a player in the Middle East, Nader was, for all of the 1980s a failed magazine publisher who, by his own admission, knew nothing about the Middle East and even less about publishing or journalism. The UAE was a perfect location for someone so bereft of any quality or professional merit, who had a pocket full of CIA cash when he moved there in 2010, spoke English without an accent, and seemed to have contacts in high places.
Most of his “career” until that point reads like a Hollywood movie, similar to the film “Catch Me if You Can” which starred Leonardo DiCapprio and featured a fraudulent young man who fabricated an identity and exploited it financially as far as he could, living the high life in five-star hotels and flying first class around the world. Nader did not have DiCapprio’s chiseled looks and was cursed with a facial twitch, but he was nonetheless the character the American actor played: a total fraud who was consumed by his own delusional views, protected by intelligence agencies.
In the 80s, according to one diplomat from a Middle Eastern country who spoke with Inside Arabia, Nader was “nothing . . . irrelevant” who was posing as someone who could set meetings up and really make history. The source, who wishes to remain anonymous, is convinced that Nader was on the CIA payroll by the end of the decade which would explain how he lived quite a good lifestyle in DC until the late 90s and managed to receive negligible punishment for child porn charges (magazines 1984 and 1988) and videos (1990 – about which his lawyer speciously claimed that he was helping secure the release of US hostages in Beirut). Nader felt he was untouchable, due to his CIA role, and went as far as “importing” a 14-year-old Czech boy, which would later in 2003 result in him being prosecuted—not by US judges but by judges in the Czech Republic.
Remarkably, Nader, even with these tawdry police cases hanging over him, still had the endorsement of George Bush senior and James Baker which gave him his big break in 1993 where the Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin actually employed him to find 40 Arab journalists at the time of the famous handshake between the Israeli PM and Arafat.
That was Nader’s tipping point where his career of Middle East fixer and CIA asset took off and, according to the diplomat, despite being a known “liar . . . and not at all a serious person,” took him to Damascus in 1998 as a key negotiator in Golan peace talks between the Israelis and the Syrian government of Hafez al-Assad. Being the editor of an obscure Middle East magazine was a perfect cover as a CIA operative (or at least an asset). However, his ignorance of the region and his fortuitous bluffing resulted in the talks collapsing and his friend, the Syrian Ambassador in DC, being arrested by Assad and fearing he would be “shot” due to suspicion from the then Syrian leader Assad senior.
But it was being a player on the circuit and, funded by Langley, enjoying the jet-set life of meeting leaders, that he got a taste for lying and deceit. He also got a taste for money, which is why we find him resurface in Iraq in 2003, after spending a year in a Czech jail, chummy with Blackwater’s chief, Erik Prince (which itself explains the path to the UAE, as Prince moved to the UAE in 2010 to work for MbZ as a security advisor—he took Nader with him).
In Iraq, earlier, Nader was trying to bluff his way to securing huge contracts for Blackwater with regional governments and failed, once again, spectacularly. With his tail between his legs, he arrived in the UAE in 2010 and took up the role of advisor to the ruler of Abu Dhabi.
But even MbZ could not imagine that six years later, Nader would be putting him in front of Russian oligarchs close to Putin, or top Trump advisors, or key players like Zamel and Prince.
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This is part 2 of a 3-part expose of the shady dealings of George Nader in Middle East politics based on the Mueller Report.