Coming under the head of…say what? We learn that Michael Avenatti (Stormy Daniels’ lawyer) just posted photos of Michael Cohen, Trump’s fixer, showing Cohen meeting a Qatari agent at Trump Towers. It is all very weird because the story coming out is that Qatar’s government attempted to contact Steve Bannon, Trump’s former advisor and right wing ideologue, through Cohen and/or other Trumpsters with an offer of financial support. Again, allegedly, the Qatari agent is said to have offered Bannon money for future media ventures if, in return, he’d support Qatari causes.
Like we say…wait. What?
The story is being reported in of several places, but right now we’re looking at Michael Avenatti’s Mother’s Day bombshell, explained by Judd Legum in Think Progress. He covers the story from its beginnings when, on Mother’s Day, Avenatti posted several curious tweets, including photos of Cohn and others along with a man that Avenatii identified as “Ahmed al-Rumaihi, a former Qatari diplomat who now heads up the nation’s massive investment fund.”
Now, it turns out that al-Rumaihi is a former investor in a pro-basketball team “started by rapper Ice Cube and his business partner Jeff Kwatinetz “ Kwatinetz is also a friend of Steve Bannon.
Only, al-Rumaihi seems to have not delivered the funds he’d promised Kwatinetz, who then sued the diplomat-qua-fund manager. In the course of the court case, Kwatinetz claimed that al-Rumaihi revealed that the whole point of the investment was not basketball but rather to use Kwatinetz as a conduit to Bannon, who had just been kicked out of Breitbart. Kwatinetz claimed that “Al-Rumaihi said that the Qatari government would underwrite all of Bannon’s political activity in return for his support on issues of importance to the country. Bannon had recently lost support from his main financial backer, Rebekah Mercer.”
Kwatinetz refused, but then al-Rumaihi claimed to have conveyed money to lots of other Washington insiders and added that Kwatinetz was being silly not to take it too.
Soon after that, the basketball team deal collapsed. But, now Avenatti has released photos which seem to suggest that Cohen met with al-Rumaihi at Trump Tower shortly after the 2017 election. In other words, Avenatti is suggesting that Cohen may also have participated in illicit contacts with Qatari intelligence agencies, and may have also accepted money from them.
Where did Cohen get the photos? Well, they seem to have been taken from open sources, specifically a video from the Trump Tower’s security camera and posted to the web by C-Span. Why he posted the photos is another mystery, however Avenatti posted the photos along with a vaguely threatening tweet, to wit, “Warning ignored. So here it goes.” That was followed by another tweet reading, “And to be clear – by “warning ignored” I am referring to the refusal of various parties to come clean and the failure of various parties and news outlets to stop with the personal attacks on our side. Keep pushing us. #consequences #basta”
What’s going on? Hard to say. But one thing is clear. We’re awfully glad we’re not Donald Trump. This looks like it could get very, very messy.
As if it wasn’t already enough of a major clusterfuck.