Trump and Prince Mohammed fit together like hand in glove

Kathy E Gill
6 min readJul 8, 2024


President Donald Trump and Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
President Donald Trump and Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, March 14, 2017. White House photo.

Since January 6, 2021, “Saudi Arabia has become one of the few reliable sources of growth for the Trump family’s business operation,” according to the New York Times.

Have you read anything in-depth about Donald Trump’s extensive ties to the Saudi Kingdom and what that might mean should he be re-elected? I haven’t.

Here’s Marcy Wheeler, an independent journalist, in exasperation:

In a week when Trump rolled out his FOURTH big deal with the Saudis, you decided to focus on the guy doing what Presidents do, raising money from rich Americans.
@emptywheel, July 6, 2024

That New York Times (NYT) one-off report above is standard ‘news’ fare these days; lots of words, few sources for claims like the one I quoted. However, on January 10, 2022, the PGA announced it would not hold its 2022 tournament at the Trump National Bedminster Golf Club.

Mother Jones reported in February that from 2013 to 2023, “the seven Manhattan buildings till emblazoned with the Trump name dropped in value by 23 percent, according to the real estate website CityRealty.”

As of April 2024, the Trump Organization had only three city-center hotels bearing its name: Chicago, Las Vegas and New York, according to the NYT. Numerious hotels have revoked their licensing agreement, netting the company a loss of about 1,900 hotel rooms. Those properties included:

  • New York City, SoHo neighborhood
  • Panama
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Waikiki, HI
  • Washington, DC

The result is a new financial reliance on 14 golf course properties: 11 domestic, four overseas. Hotel growth is in non-western countries ruled by autocrats.

How is the Trump Organization affiliated with Saudi Arabia?

In reverse chronological order:

1. July 2024, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

A new residential high-rise tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is a Trump Organization collaboration with Dar Global, a real estate developer with ties to the Kingdom.

The $500 million project includes “a Trump-branded golf course and hotel as well as Trump villas.

Dar Global is a subsidiary of Dar Al Arkan, “one of the largest private real estate companies in Saudi Arabia.” The company “relies in part on Saudi government contracts to sustain its business.” It “manages a luxury property portfolio valued at roughly $5.9bn across the UAE, Oman, Qatar, the UK, Spain, and Bosnia.”

2. November 2022: Oman

The Trump Organization is a partner in a $1.6 billion housing and golf complex that Dar Global is building in Oman, Aida. The Trump name is being used to “sell luxury villas at prices of up to $13 million.”

As of June 2023, the Trump organization had grossed at least $5.4 million from the project licensing fee.

The Omani government “[provided] the land for the development.”That puts Trump in business with yet another US ally. Oman is a monarchy that is ruled by a sultan; it is also a Muslim nation.

Oman also buys weapons from the US. (Who doesn’t?)

3. March 2022: LIV Golf

LIV Golf, an upstart competitor to the PGA Tour, announced it would hold two U.S. golf tournaments at domestic Trump Organization golf courses.

LIV is “fully funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Prince Mohammed) at its center. Family members of 9–11 victims protested the arrangement.

The new competitor to the PGA tour held its first tournament in London in June 2022. In July: Trump National Bedminister Golf Club. The fall: Trump National Doral Miami. In 2023, LIV and PGA merged.

According to the NYT, a “jump in golf revenues at Bedminster and Doral coincides with the decision by LIV Golf” to hold tournaments at the Trump properties.

4. July 2021: Kushner investment firm

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, announced a new investment firm, Affinity Partners, based in Miami. (He has no investment firm experience.)

While at the White House, Kushner had “a leading role … in defending Prince Mohammed after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that he had directed the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for The Washington Post, who had criticized … the kingdom’s rulers.”

Kushner received $2 billion from the same state fund that financed LIV golf tournaments. However, fund managers criticized the potential investment:

Those objections included: “the inexperience of the Affinity Fund management”; the possibility that the kingdom would be responsible for “the bulk of the investment and risk”; due diligence on the fledgling firm’s operations that found them “unsatisfactory in all aspects”; a proposed asset management fee that “seems excessive”; and “public relations risks” from Mr. Kushner’s prior role as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, former President Donald J. Trump, according to minutes of the panel’s meeting [June 30, 2021].

The board, headed by Prince Mohammed, overruled their objections in early July. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar also each invested $200 million.

5. 2016–2021, emoluments

Black’s Law Dictionary defines an “emolument” as an “advantage, profit, or gain received as a result of one’s employment or one’s holding of office.”

The Trump Organization profited directly from foreign governments booking services at his Washington, DC hotel. Saudi Arabia was one of those countries.

In 2022, Congress identified six countries — including Saudi Arabia — that spent more than $750,000 in 2017 and 2018 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. while the countries were lobbying the Administration.

In 2024, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee released a 156-page report titled “White House For Sale.” That research demonstrated how the Trump Organization “received at least $7.8 million from 20 foreign governments during his presidency.”

The Constitution prohibits federal officeholders from accepting money, payments or gifts “of any kind whatever” from foreign governments and monarchs unless they obtain “the consent of the Congress” to do so. The report notes that Mr. Trump never went to Congress to seek consent.

Citizens for Ethics determined that the Trump Organization made at least $9.6 million from Middle Eastern countries while president.

And the results of Saudi largess?

In May 2019, Trump “issued an emergency declaration to push through an $8.1 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan without congressional approval.”

In July 2019, NBC News listed 11 key “favors” that the Trump Administration had showered on Saudi Arabia. Among them:

  • Saudi Arabia was Trump’s first foreign country visit
  • Obama had stopped sales of precision-guided bombs; Trump resumed those sales
  • Trump dismissed a U.N. report calling for a full investigation of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in Istanbul, Turkey, and ignored the CIA conclusion that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered that Khashoggi be killed.
  • Twice, Trump provided “sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia” after Khashoggi’s murder
  • Trump provided military support to Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen and dismissed a United Nations resolution calling for a war crimes investigation

Both Trump and Kushner, but especially Kushner, travelled to the Middle East and Saudi Arabia frequently during Trump’s time in office.

“The financial links between the Saudi royal family and the Trump family raise very serious issues,” Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told the Post. “When you factor in Jared Kushner’s financial interests, you are looking right at the cat’s cradle of financial entanglements.”

The recent Supreme Court decision that, in effect, makes bribes of public officials legal if the money or gifts change hands after the person leaves office (Snyder v U.S.) should be a red flag to Trump’s returning to the White House.

The linkages between Trump and Prince Mohammed are indisputably wide, deep and lucrative.

They are also opaque because the Trump Organization is not a publicly traded corporation. Journalists determined much of the information in this article by reading court documents from the New York criminal case that yielded Trump’s 34 felony convictions.

These connections question Trump’s fitness to conduct foreign policy.

Finally, failure to report this information in digestible context is a form of journalistic malpractice.


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Kathy E Gill

Digital media educator, writer, speaker; sometimes public policy journalist; transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles. #rabblerouser #pushy