NBC posted a story Friday about a crony of Jared Kushner’s named Rick Gerson who may have been involved in a still-mysterious backchannel meeting between Trump advisers and officials from Russia and the United Arab Emirates in the Seychelles in January 2017. Gerson, NBC says, was brought into the Seychelles plan through a UAE lobbyist named George Nader when they both attended a different meeting in New York City with Kushner.
(Background: It remains unclear exactly what common interest Trump, Russia, and the UAE might have had at the time, but some evidence suggests that Kushner and erstwhile national security adviser Michael Flynn daydreamed about brokering a sort of Grand Bargain between Russia and the U.S. that would remake Middle East politics to the benefit of the UAE and Saudi Arabia.) (For what it’s worth, the site I linked to, The Moscow Project, was founded by former Democratic staffers and is affiliated with the left-leaning Center for American Progress thinktank.*)
The NBC report is only the latest to suggest that George Nader, who is reportedly now cooperating with Robert Mueller’s investigation, once had very high-level access to the Trump White House. The New York Times has reported that Nader met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in August 2016, while the AP has documented Nader’s close working relationship with Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy. (Broidy recently resigned from his role with the Republican National Committee when reports emerged that he’d arranged a $1.6 million NDA payment to a Playboy model. There are open questions about how that situation relates to Trump, but that’s a different story.) Axios, meanwhile, reported that Nader “visited the White House frequently during the early months of the Trump administration” and was friendly with since-ousted adviser Steve Bannon.
Here’s the other thing about George Nader: He was convicted of child pornography charges in Virginia in 1991 and of sexually abusing minors in the Czech Republic in 2003.
What is wrong with these people?
Correction, June 4: This post initially identified The Moscow Project as an “explicitly partisan” initiative. While a number of the individuals involved with it are Democrats, it’s not controlled by or officially affiliated with the Democratic Party.