Trump’s Luxurious Swamp

Image result for Nahro al-Kasnazan in robes

Nahro al-Kasnazan’s palatial home in Amman is lined with marble, crystal and oil paintings. His furniture is leafed in gold; angel figures perch on the rims of giant vases. When particularly reverent guests arrive, he lets them to bow and kiss him on the feet, according to a video he shared with The Post.

While the Trumpies brag that he has drained the swamp, the Trump administration is putting up the worst record for corruption in government since the Grant administration.  Like that golden era, much of this comes from unsavory ties between the government officials and private entrepreneurs seeking profit.

An exiled Iraqi Arab sheikh spent 26 days in a suite on the eighth floor of the  Trump International Hotel . The visit is estimated to have cost the sheikh tens of thousands of dollars.  The man who lives a Trump-like life in a home in Amman Jordan typifies the sort of unsavory tie that makes AMERICANS DETEST Washington DC.

(Compiled and edited form a report in the Washing0tn post and other sources) Although denying any formal meetings with Trump officials during his stay at the Trump hotel, Kasnazan said, he saw members of Trump’s family at the property, as well as Trump’s lawyer Rudolph Giuliani and Fox News Channel personalities. But he said that he didn’t speak with them and that he never saw Trump.

 Nahro al-Kasnazan, was an ally of the US during the Iraq war and now a  would-be ally of the Donald,  The man checked into the Trump Hotel a day after his brother, a former Iraqi trade minister, was sentenced in absentia to seven years in prison on graft charges. Kasnazan himself is facing charges in Iraq and is now in exile in Amman Jordan.  Iraqi authorities issued arrest warrants for both brothers in October 2015. The case involved alleged kickbacks connected to rice purchases for Iraq’s national food ration system. Judge Abdulsatter al-Beriqdar, a spokesman for the Iraqi judiciary said: “Once (the brothers) are in Iraq, they will be arrested.”  Kasnazan denies the corruption allegations and says the charges are politically motivated.

Kasnazan is a Sufi Kurdish sheik who wants to retain power as the Iraqi government, largely Shia, increases its ties to Iran.  Both Iran and the Shia dominated Iraq are very opposed to the Kurds.  Much of Iran is Kurdish and the Kurdish regions of Iraq want to be independent.  it is not surprising that Kasnazan and his siblings were imprisoned during Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and turned to the Americans to support the 2003 Iraq invasion. The brothers met regularly with CIA officers working from small bases in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan and recruited dozens of informants from within their Sufi network who worked in Hussein’s military and intelligence services, as described in the 2004 book “Plan of Attack,” by Bob Woodward. They brag that they received millions dollars from the US paid to the Iraqi Establishments Protection Company.  IEPC, a the Kasnazan company, was put to work guarding oil companies and U.S. military installations, such as ammunition depots.

Of course the sheikh applauded Trump’s threats against Iran and the unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear treaty.  Now the  Shiekh wants a  U.S. military confrontation with Iran. The Sheikh, who likes to have his feet kissed by visitors,  Nahro considers himself a viable candidate to become president of Iraq.  Before coming to Washington, Nahro al-Kasnazan wrote letters to national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging them to forge closer ties with those seeking to overthrow the government of Iran.

Using the imperial plural pronoun, Kasnazan explained  “We normally stay at the Hay-Adams hotel, but we just heard about this new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. and thought it would be a good place to stay.”  While suites at the Trump hotel range from about $1,000 to $2,000 per night; at the Hay-Adams, they are about $840 to $1,840 per night.  Of course, that is chump change to a wealthy man who made a large part of his fortune during the American occupation.  Kasnazan said his choice of the Trump hotel was not part of a lobbying effort, adding that he came to Washington for medical treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, about 45 miles away.

“We saw all the Trumpers,” said Entifadh Qanbar, a Kasnazan spokesman. “Many ambassadors, many important people. We didn’t talk to them, but we saw them in the hallways.”  Kasnazan told the Washington Post that he socialized with some of the State Department’s Middle East experts outside of the hotel. One of them, Col. Abbas Dahouk, recently retired as a senior military adviser at the department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and previously served as a military attache at the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia. Dahouk said he viewed Kasnazan’s visit to the Trump hotel as an effort to make “himself available to talk about Iraq and to speak truth to power.”   “It’s easier to meet people” at the hotel, he said. “Maybe indirectly to also show support to Trump.”

“From his perspective, Trump is America,” Dahouk added.

The president’s ability to profit from foreign customers, in particular, while in the White House has drawn sharp criticism. The Trump Organization is battling a pair of lawsuits, including one filed by Democratic members of Congress, alleging that the business it does with foreign governments violates the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bars payments to presidents by foreign states.

The Trump Organization, currently headed by Eric Trump, said it donated the profits of Kasnazan ‘s stay to the U.S. Treasury as part of a voluntary policy aimed at countering claims that the president is in violation of the emoluments clause. The Trump Organization did not say how much the profits were from Kasnazan’s stay and did not explain why in his case it applied the “foreign patronage” policy, which it has said is for business from foreign governments.

1 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adans #

    The Sheik could actually have standing to sue Trump over the emoluments clause. He has made his money from other US administrations and is returning some of that largess at Trump’s hotel.The government corruption under Grant was totally different,

Your Comment