Monday Open Thread | Michael Avenatti Bombshell: Qatari Investor Accused of Bribery Met Cohen and Flynn at Trump Tower

Members of the Trump transition team appear to have met on December 12, 2016 with a group from Qatar that included Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, the former Qatari diplomat and current head of a division of Qatar’s massive sovereign wealth fund who is accused in a recent lawsuit of scheming to bribe Trump administration officials.

Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, on Sunday shared an ambiguous tweet showing a group of unidentified men in a Trump Tower elevator with Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney.

The photos include a person who appears to be Al-Rumaihi, who in late 2016 and 2017 was part of an aggressive Qatari effort to forge ties with members of the Trump administration. It has not previously been reported that Qataris, including Al-Rumaihi, met with Cohen in December 2016. Avenatti later followed up with another tweet asking why Cohen was meeting with Al-Rumaihi and Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor.

Ice Cube, the rapper and actor, and his business partner Jeff Kwatinetz recently filed a $1.2 billion lawsuit that includes an allegation that Al-Rumaihi and other Qatari officials who invested in the men’s BIG3 basketball league indicated interest gaining access to people connected to Trump. “Mr Al-Rumaihi requested I set up a meeting between him, the Qatari government, and Stephen Bannon, and to tell Steve Bannon that Qatar would underwrite all of his political efforts in return for his support,” Kwatinetz said in the court filing. Kwatinetz says he rejected the offer, which he viewed as a bribe.

In response, Kwatinetz claims, “Al-Rumaihi laughed and then stated to me that I shouldn’t be naive, that so many Washington politicians take our money, and stated ‘do you think Flynn turned down our money?’” That’s a reference to Michael Flynn, who was fired as Trump’s national security adviser after lying about his contacts with then Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Sports Trinity, a group that included the Qatari investors in BIG3, claims that Kwantinetz is lying. “The statements in Mr. Kwatinetz’s declaration are pure Hollywood fiction,” a spokesperson for the group said in a statement. “Mr. Kwatinetz is engaging in a xenophobic PR smear campaign against Sport Trinity, the largest investor in BIG3 basketball, to cover up his own mismanagement and erratic behavior with respect to the league.”

Last week Avenatti released a report, later largely confirmed, that detailed secret payments by a several corporations to a limited liability company set up by Cohen. In another picture Avenatti posted along with the photos of Al-Rumaihi, Cohen speaks with Flynn. Avenatti’s photo of Flynn appears to be a screenshot of a YouTube video that does not feature the footage of Al-Rumaihi. Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents and is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia.

The Qatari Embassy and Qatari Investment Authority did not respond Sunday to requests for comment on Al-Rumaihi’s presence at Trump Tower and purpose of the meeting.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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87 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Michael Avenatti Bombshell: Qatari Investor Accused of Bribery Met Cohen and Flynn at Trump Tower

  1. eliihass says:

    The cop – her natural ally under every circumstance, could barely stifle a chuckle..

    This ought to go right under crocodile tears.. And on a more serious note, a reminder of how many have died because of evil, entitled, malicious Beckys like this one.. who’d go to any length to get their way..

    • Liza says:

      Amazing, isn’t it? They were real people with lives, with families, with occupations, with beliefs, with hopes and dreams.

      F*** Donald Trump. Good Lord, how much trouble can one con-man cause in this world?

      My head is exploding.

  2. Liza says:

    I’m not shrugging but who do I call? My representatives? Flake is retiring, McCain is terminally ill, and McSally has abandoned her district and lives on Fox News.

  3. Liza says:

    Charles M. Blow, thank you! Always right on time (before my head explodes).

  4. Liza says:

    Good grief. Killmonger was born in Oakland, USA. Everyone knows that. :)

  5. rikyrah says:

    Why no financial reports from Our Revolution?😒😕

  6. rikyrah says:

    “The president vents to associates about the FBI raids on his personal attorney Michael Cohen — as often as “20 times a day,” in the estimation of one confidant — and they frequently listen in silence, knowing little they say will soothe him. Trump gripes that he needs better “TV lawyers” to defend him on cable news and is impatient to halt the “witch hunt” that he says undermines his legitimacy as president.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    You do not need to have strong opinions on complicated political topics to call out the slaughter of innocent civilians. This is clearly a massacre, and no one should be silent in identifying it as such. Silence is complicity.#Gaza— Charlotte Clymer🏳️‍🌈 (@cmclymer) May 14, 2018

  8. rikyrah says:

    New: Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer this morning. A source says they caught it early, via @MichelleRindels.— Nevada Independent (@TheNVIndy) May 14, 2018

  9. rikyrah says:

    David Axelrod

    Margot Kidder should be remembered as much for courageously, candidly discussing her battles with mental illness as for any screen role.
    There are no Supermen— or women. It is not a character deficiency to acknowledge such struggles and get the help and treatment you need!

    • vitaminlover says:

      Did chunk even check on her? I think not!

      • eliihass says:


        This was not surgery however as reported, but a PRE-PLANNED minimally invasive procedure that’s usually done out-patient – in and out same day.

        And would not typically get any attention – or an actual statement from these notoriously sneaky folk squatting in the People’s House .. Same folk who still won’t utter a simple ‘sorry’, but have dug in – and are more upset about the leak than they are about the callous remark about the very ill Senator McCain..

        But, distractions are good for gaslighting purposes.. A his and hers strategy obviously in operation..

        Just enough put out there to engender ‘sympathy’ – and a chance to delete and reboot yet again ..after a hyped launch that was plagued yet again with plagiarism.. and an angry and ungracious retort that still wouldn’t take any responsibility for the brazen plagiarism and lies, and instead played victim yet again when caught, and angrily blamed the ‘opposition’ media for being ‘meanspirited’..

    • eliihass says:

      Sanjay Gupta is skeptical..

  10. My blood is boiling at Chuck Schumer……………….

  11. Liza says:

    Bree Newsome Verified account

    The US and Israel (and until recently South Africa) have long existed as stalwarts of racial apartheid and segregation, using brutal violence to uphold white power structures established under European colonialism. 1/

    12:11 PM – 14 May 2018


    It’s important to recognize the interconnectedness between the oppression of Black and Indigenous Americans in the United States, the oppression of Black South Africans, and the ongoing occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people 2/


    The situation in Jerusalem and the United States’ involvement in it exemplifies what King was speaking to in his Beyond Vietnam speech and what he called the triplet evils of racism, materialism and militarism. 3/


    And, this again is why it is important to recognize that in reality there is no separation between the struggle of the oppressed in the United States and the struggle of the oppressed throughout the world. We share a common oppressor. 4/


    Free Palestine

  12. .@SenSchumer You are a disgrace before God. Praising Trump while innocent Palestinians are being slaughtered? Military force against unarmed civilian people? Only difference between you and republicans is you’re hiding in the Democratic Party. You make me sick to my stomach.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Margot Kidder died. She was 69.

  14. rikyrah says:

    To all of those that continue to try and discount me as an “ambulance chaser” or “porn lawyer” – take note. Here is a link to some of the results I have obtained as lead counsel (over $1B). Not a single one listed is a personal injury matter. #basta

    — Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 14, 2018

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Democrats Are Moving Left Without Self-Destructing
    Moderates continue to win primaries, with the “resistance” avoiding the suicidal tendencies of the Tea Party.
    By Sahil Kapur


    At the same time, the resistance is avoiding the suicidal tendencies of the Tea Party, which nominated radical candidates who blew winnable races for the Senate, such as Sharron Angle in Nevada, Todd Akin in Missouri, and Richard Mourdock in Indiana. In 2010 and 2012 the movement defeated Republican incumbents with strong general election appeal such as Delaware’s Mike Castle and Indiana’s Dick Lugar, only to watch Democrats win those races. “The only significant races we won in 2010 were in races where Republicans ate themselves alive,” says Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat. “What should scare the hell out of Republicans is that we have energy and relative unity. That’s hard, because with energy usually comes some opposing forces, and that has not happened in any meaningful way so far.”

    While red states such as Indiana and West Virginia drew the most attention on May 8, Democrats also stopped populist insurgents in important swing states like Ohio. Democratic leaders had worried that their preferred candidate, former Obama official Richard Cordray, might lose to Dennis Kucinich, the outspoken populist ex-congressman who won the backing of Our Revolution, an advocacy group that emerged from the Bernie Sanders campaign. But Cordray trounced Kucinich by 40 points. Rather than representing a broad divide between two poles of the party, Cordray says, he and Kucinich shared many policy positions, lessening the temptation of grass-roots activists to defect to his left-wing rival.

  16. Ametia says:

    This day can’t come soon enough.

  17. Deuteronomy 28-68 tells the story. Those frauds being the chosen people are the biggest lie told across the world. They were never taken in captivity and held in bondage. IT’S A LIE!

  18. rikyrah says:

    Oligarch Viktor Vekselberg’s Trump ties raise suspicion

    Michael Carpenter, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, helps Joy Reid untangle the threads that connect Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg to Donald Trump.

  19. rikyrah says:

    John Kelly stirs familiar controversy with rare interview

    John Burnett, NPR Southwest correspondent, talks with Joy Reid about his interview with Donald Trump chief of staff John Kelly.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Senators make plan to preserve Mueller’s work if not his job

    Heidi Przybyla, NBC News national political reporter, talks with Joy Reid about a new bipartisan plan in the works in the Senate to preserve Robert Mueller’s work, even if Mueller himself can’t be protected from Donald Trump.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Cohen case folds in on itself with unexpected Schneiderman twist

    In yet another example of seemingly discrete stories turning out to be connected, the Michael Cohen case took a odd twist to intersect with the Eric Schneiderman abuse story. Joy Reid explains with help from Emily Jane Fox, Vanity Fair senior reporter, and Paul Butler, former federal prosecutor.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Trump Admin Poised To Give Rural Whites A Carve-Out On Medicaid Work Rules
    By Alice Ollstein | May 14, 2018 6:00 am

    As the Trump administration moves aggressively to allow more states to impose mandatory work requirements on their Medicaid programs, several states have come under fire for crafting policies that would in practice shield many rural, white residents from the impact of the new rules.

    In the GOP-controlled states of Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio, waiver proposals would subject hundreds of thousands of Medicaid enrollees to work requirements, threatening to cut off their health insurance if they can’t meet an hours-per-week threshold.

    Those waivers include exemptions for the counties with the highest unemployment, which tend to be majority-white, GOP-leaning, and rural. But many low-income people of color who live in high-unemployment urban centers would not qualify, because the wealthier suburbs surrounding those cities pull the overall county unemployment rate below the threshold.

    “This is sort of a version of racial redlining where they’re identifying communities where the work requirements will be in full effect and others where they will be left out,” George Washington University health law professor Sara Rosenbaum told TPM. “When that starts to result in racially identifiable areas, that’s where the concern increases.”


    A Washington Post analysis found that while African Americans make up about 23 percent of Medicaid enrollees in Michigan, they would make up just 1.2 percent of the people eligible for an exemption. Meanwhile, 57 percent of Michigan Medicaid enrollees are white, but white residents would make up 85 percent of the population eligible for an exemption.

    Ohio’s Medicaid work requirement proposal — recently submitted for federal approval — is of a similar design, and would have the same disparities between urban residents of color in Cleveland and Columbus and rural white residents in the rest of the state.

  23. LOOK, Y’ALL! A Palestinian with no legs. In a wheelchair. He had rocks. Barbaric Israeli soldiers shot him dead. #GAZA

  24. rikyrah says:

    In new head-scratcher, Trump goes to bat for Chinese jobs
    05/14/18 08:41 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Donald Trump has taken quite a few steps to make China happy since taking office, but the American president broke new ground over the weekend.

    President Donald Trump said Sunday he has instructed his Commerce Department to help get a Chinese telecommunications company “back into business” after the U.S. government cut off access to its American suppliers.

    At issue is that department’s move last month to block the ZTE Corp., a major supplier of telecoms networks and smartphones based in southern China, from importing American components for seven years.

    In an unexpected tweet yesterday afternoon, Trump declared, “President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”

    So, the Republican is eager to save Chinese jobs? What is Trump talking about?

  25. rikyrah says:

    Despite scandals, DeVos takes steps to help for-profit colleges
    05/14/18 09:20 AM—UPDATED 05/14/18 09:23 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The New York Times published a striking report along these lines overnight.

    Members of a special team at the Education Department that had been investigating widespread abuses by for-profit colleges have been marginalized, reassigned or instructed to focus on other matters, according to current and former employees.

    The unwinding of the team has effectively killed investigations into possibly fraudulent activities at several large for-profit colleges where top hires of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, had previously worked.

    This is surprisingly straightforward: in the wake of the Corinthian Colleges fiasco, the Obama administration put together a team that closely scrutinized dubious claims from for-profit colleges, including DeVry.

    Then Donald Trump was elected, Betsy DeVos took over the Department of Education, and she tapped a dean from DeVry to lead the group of investigators, among other officials from for-profit schools whom DeVos hired for the cabinet agency.

    And wouldn’t you know it, the team that was responsible for protecting students from potential fraud changed course.

  26. rikyrah says:

    White House: Thanks to Trump, we are now ‘respected,’ ‘feared,’ and ‘loved’
    05/14/18 10:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley has developed something of a reputation for delivering notable quotes. In February, for example, a day after the Justice Department brought criminal charges against Russian operatives who attacked our democracy, Gidley seemed eager to defend the Russians, saying it’s Democrats and American journalists who were actually responsible for creating “chaos.”

    It was around this time that the president’s deputy press secretary also described Trump as “a real-life Superman.”

    Over the weekend, Gidley presented us with a new gem.

    “We are now respected, we are now feared, we are now loved because of this president. He has good relationships with our partners and allies. In fact, I would even argue they’re stronger.”

    Stronger than what, he didn’t say, though I suppose Gidley probably meant U.S. relationships with “our partners and allies” have improved as compared to the Obama era.

    The trouble, of course, is that reality keeps getting in the way.

  27. Robert Jeffress prayers aren’t going no further than the ceiling unless he’s praying for repentance. It’s blasphemy! These people are not going to stop until the wrath of God comes down. #Jerusalem #Gaza

  28. rikyrah says:

    Avenatti is just toying with them now.👏👏🙌

  29. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😄😄😄

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