Donald Trump earned the recycled moniker “Teflon Don” because he always seems to evade criminal charges — nothing sticks. But the thing about teflon is, all that greasy mess slides off, but it still has to go somewhere — and usually that means sloshing on all the surrounding kitchenware.
Metaphor aside, over the past few years, the criminal charges have really stacked up all around Trump — his National Security Adviser, his Chief Strategist, his personal lawyer, his campaign manager, his Chief Financial Officer, and several other top advisers have all faced serious charges. And now, his best friend…
Tom Barrack has been friends with Trump for over 30 years, with many insiders calling him the Celebrity Apprentice star’s closest confidant and adviser. And on Tuesday he became the latest Trumpworld resident to be arrested on some VERY serious charges.
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While he never had an official place in the White House, Barrack served as the chair of Trump’s inaugural committee — which is facing its own legal entanglements as feds continue to investigate where the eff the $100 million dollars they raised for it went.
But this is something else entirely — maybe something far more serious.
The 74-year-old billionaire was indicted on seven counts — failing to register as a foreign agent, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and four counts of making false statements to the FBI.
Most of the charges are about the cover-up of the initial crime, but that foreign agent thing? That essentially means he was acting as a spy for another country. Yes, for real!
What is all this about?? Well, remember the investigation into whether Trump was taking marching orders from Russia in exchange for financial gain? That still hasn’t been disproven, despite how many times the ex-president says so IN ALL CAPS. But this is an actual arrest in relation to doing something very similar with another country: the United Arab Emirates.
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According to prosecutors, Barrack and two others are accused of “acting and conspiring to act as agents of the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018.” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko said in a statement:
“The defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendships and access to a candidate who was eventually elected President, high-ranking campaign and government officials, and the American media to advance the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiances.”
They claim it began with Barrack, using his position as a close adviser, inserting some pro-UAE language into Trump’s May 2016 campaign speech — and he did so on behalf of Emirati officials. A foreign country got to put words in Trump’s mouth. Let that sink in.
That relationship continued, they say, as Barrack lobbied on behalf of the UAE to influence the policies of Trump’s presidential administration AND leaked “non-public information” to his Arab allies.
We’re talking about a foreign country getting fed inside info AND dictating US policy — that’s practically treason! And it’s not just us being hyperbolic here; the Department of Justice sees it that way, too. Lesko said:
“The conduct alleged is nothing short of a betrayal of officials in the United States, including the former President.”
Unless he knew about it that is. We mean… it can’t just be a coincidence that multiple countries got word from Trump’s friends that his policy was up for sale, right? Everyone AROUND Trump was crooked and just using the poor old patriot? Not buying it.
Innerestingly it was reported way back in 2018 that the UAE, like Russia, offered the Trump campaign help winning the election in the form of a social media blitz — the same way we already know for a fact Russia did. Per The New York Times, they even met with Donald Trump Jr. about it. It certainly makes sense now if they knew one side had an agent working for them that they would want that side to win. And if the Trump campaign accepted that offer, that makes this yet another case of potential collusion with a foreign power. Oof.
Will any of this actually ever touch Trump himself? Well, Lesko did continue with something of a warning, saying:
“Through this indictment we are putting everyone — regardless of wealth or perceived political power — on notice that the Department of Justice will enforce the prohibition of this sort of undisclosed foreign influence.”
Except Teflon Don. So far anyway.
One thing the government hasn’t really explained is why. Barrack is the founder of a huge private equity firm called Colony Capital and a real titan. He is a real billionaire. Why would he do this?
Why do billionaires do anything? To make more money. According to the NYT, in the three years following Trump becoming the Republican nominee, Colony Capital got $1.5 BILLION in investments from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Huh.
So far Trump hasn’t commented on the charges. It’s days like these we’re just glad the adults took away his Twitter account.
[Image via MEGA/WENN.]