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Trump lawyer 'demanded $1 million from Qatar for access to president'

Cohen reportedly offered Qatar insights into the Trump administration [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 May, 2018

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Trump's long-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen asked Qatar for $1 million for personal insights into the president's plans, according to a media report.
US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen allegedly asked Qatar for at least $1 million in return for personal insights into the former property tycoon's economic plans, according to a media report.

Cohen approached Qatar and offered unique and personal insights into the Trump administration shortly before his inauguration as president - in exchange for a fee, The Washington Post stated.

Qatar reportedly turned down the offer.

The lawyer was said to have courted Ahmed al-Rumaihi, the head of investments at Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, at Trump Tower in December 2016 - just weeks before Trump entered the White House.

Rumaihi was in New York with a Qatari delegation including Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Thani, according to Reuters.

He had told Cohen that Qatar was interested in investing in Trump's planned infrastructure projects for the US, when the lawyer said he could help Doha find projects to sponsor, in exchange for $1 million up front.

Cohen had reportedly positioned himself as a fixer for Donald Trump.

European companies have since revealed that they paid huge amounts of money to the lawyer in return for services.

Swiss medicine company Novartis AG said it paid nearly $1.2 million to Trump's lawyer, while other companies came forward saying they had hired Cohen for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Qatar was thrust into a diplomatic crisis last June, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic relations with Doha and announced a blockade on the Gulf state.

The move came shortly after Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia. The president also publicly backed the blockade, although the State Department tried to distanced itself from the Saudi-led action.

Trump has since met Qatar Emir Tamim al-Thani and tried to end the rift between the Gulf states, saying intra-GCC divisions would only benefit regional powerhouse Iran.

Cohen is under investigation by US authorities over possible bank and tax fraud, along a separate probe into possible collusion between Russia and Trump aides during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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