Huckstering in the desert; a payday in Qatar | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Huckstering in the desert; a payday in Qatar

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 12:55 PM

click to enlarge HUCKSTER WAS HERE: The Doha, Qatar skyline.
  • HUCKSTER WAS HERE: The Doha, Qatar skyline.

Mother Jones reports that Mike Huckabee took a trip to Qatar in January and came back with glowing words for the controversial emirate. He somehow forgot to mention he'd been paid $50,000 to make the trip.

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Said Mother Jones:

On Friday, Joseph Allaham, a former owner of kosher steakhouses in New York, retroactively registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for Qatar. In the paperwork disclosing his activity on behalf of the Qatari government, Allaham noted that he had paid $50,000 on November 23, 2017, to Blue Diamond Horizons, a Florida corporation run by Huckabee. The filing stated that Huckabee received this money as an “honorarium for visit.” And the $50,000 payment, according to the disclosure, came from the $1.45 million Qatar had paid Allaham in part for “community engagement” to benefit Qatar—actions that included making “charitable contributions and arranging meetings in the United States and visits to Qatar.”

So this is how it worked, according to Allaham’s disclosure report. Huckabee was paid to visit Qatar. And for its $50,000, the Qatari government got a positive tweet out of him. Huckabee did not respond to requests for comment.

Huckabee traveled to Doha, Qatar’s capital, at the same time as both Alan Dershowitz, the celebrity lawyer who has become a confidant of President Donald Trump, and Mort Klein, the longtime president of the Zionist Organization of America, as Mother Jones reported last week. The Dershowitz and Klein trips were among at least 20 visits to Doha taken by politically prominent Americans that were organized by Allaham and Nick Muzin, a former aide to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and the Trump transition team, who until this month worked as a lobbyist for Qatar. The junkets were paid for by Qatar and designed to help the Qatari government woo American Jewish leaders, many of whom had previously criticized Qatar for being a threat to Israel. Huckabee describes himself as an ardent supporter of Israel.
Pro-Israel but open-minded. Or maybe open-handed is a better word for the Huckster.

My own recent stop in Qatar on a cruise ship, from which the photo was taken, included no honorarium for me from the emir or his representatives.

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