by Eli Clifton
United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al-Otaiba was sharply critical of Donald Trump, even suggesting that he would seek “early retirement” if Trump won the election, according to a series of hacked emails allegedly sent by Otaiba to Richard Clarke, chairman of the Middle East Institute, and shared with LobeLog. Compared to the rest of the Republican primary field, Otaiba wrote, Trump “is easily the least prepared or qualified to be president.”
The Trump administration’s public cozying up with the Sunni Gulf monarchies should seem like a huge break for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two countries leading the effort to suppress the Muslim Brotherhood, squeeze Iran, and continue their involvement in Yemen’s civil war. For the most part, they’ve gotten what they want. The Trump White House debated designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization (they ultimately put off making a decision). It’s rumored to be looking for ways to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1. And the president himself appeared to condone the UAE- and Saudi-led blockade of Qatar even while his State Department and Department of Defense were trying to resolve the diplomatic crisis and lower tensions in the Gulf.
The emails provided to LobeLog originated from a Russia-based email account, but it’s unclear if the hackers or the operator of the email account are based in Russia or are simply trying to disguise their country of origin. The emails were selectively curated, and most emails have been provided as stand-alone fragments of longer email chains not included in the cache provided to LobeLog. (Last week, Lobelog published email excerpts that appeared to show Otaiba and UAE lobbyists discussing financial support for United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and its affiliated group, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), as well as excerpts showing Otaiba’s concerns about his close association with a $4.5 billion fraud.)
Otaiba’s criticism of Trump came in the form of lengthy satirical emails drafted by the ambassador as cables reporting on the political climate in the U.S. for the benefit of UAE’s leadership.
On March 21, 2016, Otaiba allegedly sent Clarke an email, saying:
The republican primaries have boiled down to Trump, Cruz, and Kasich. The remainder of the candidates have dropped out of the race rather quickly once campaigns began to face financial struggles. The more qualified ones like rubio and bush never gained real momentum. Apparently experience is a liability in this race. Not sure if you know donald trump because he has no history or experience in gov’t. Then again you might know him from his business deals and because he has his name plastered on his private plane, drinking water, buildings, wine, and steaks. Yes sir thats correct, one of the leading candidates for president also sells wine and steak.
He concluded the cable, writing:
So in conclusion, the US is pretty messed up. I hope you would consider my request for early retirement if donald trump wins the election.
In a May 7, 2016 email, Otaiba allegedly compared Trump to “a villain in a sci-fi movie who gets stronger every time you try to destroy him.”
trump is not really a republican
he is easily the least prepared or qualified to be president, and thatincludes Jim Webb and Rand Paul
He continues to propose building walls, banning muslims, among manyother insults. And while this could destroy any other political candidate,
this somehow makes trump more popular. Like a villain in a sci-fi movie who gets stronger every time you try to destroy him.
Otaiba then went on to offer harsh words about Hillary Clinton, warning what would happen if she won the nomination and faced Trump in the general election. He allegedly wrote:
And if she wins, the competition between Hillary and trump will be fun to watch. It will be a battle between the most qualified person running for president against the most UN-qualified person running for president.
Should be easy, right??
Of course not! Name one predictable thing thats happened so far!
Hillary and Trump have the two highest unfavorability numbers. Basically, this election is an UN-popularity contest. Think of the two least known people in your high school winning prom king and queen. Welcome to america in the 21st century.
The email went on to express disappointment in the U.S. electorate.
I personally still have not gotten my head around how a country this strong, rich, talented, innovative, diverse etc …. feels that trump is the best they can produce. But maybe my expectations of the US are too high these days.
Otaiba appears exasperated about the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump made crude remarks to Billy Bush. In an undated email fragment sent to LobeLog without sender or recipient data, the writer, presumably Otaiba, says:
If you haven’t seen it by now, its a must see. Literally. Simply because there is no logic on planet earth that can justify or connect those comments with someone running for president of the United States. We’ve come a long way from Roosevelt’s ‘the only thing to fear is fear itself and JFK’s ‘ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country’, to Trump’s ‘grab them by the pussy.’
You would think that would be disqualifying for a person running for student council. But apparently most trump supporters are sticking with him. At this point, why not. Which come to think of it, is the perfect slogan for the trump campaign.
I can see the bumper sticker now: TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT: WHY NOT
Clarke, for his part, appears to go back and forth between encouraging Otaiba’s comedic emails and warning him that they were potentially “dangerous.”
Responding to Otaiba’s May 7 email, Clarke allegedly warned:
As entertaining and simultaneously sad as these truth telling cables home are … they are dangerous and i hope i am the only one getting them
This election has almost six more months to go … and then the idiot fascist might actually win. So, next time you have the urge to write, come over, lie on the couch, and i will pretend to be a therapist. I have never been to one, but i have seen shrinks in movies and in the Saprano [sic] series.
Otaiba’s alleged criticism of Trump was partially disclosed in June when Huffington Post’s Akbar Shahid Ahmed published emails, allegedly sent on election night, showing Otaiba asking Obama White House adviser Robert Malley, “On what planet can trump be a president??”
Clarke and the UAE Embassy in Washington did not respond to LobeLog’s written requests for comment regarding the emails.
Photo: George W. Bush and UAE Ambassador Yousef Al-Otaiba