Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, Professor. Jan. 12, 2020 6 min read

Everyone wonders where the $1 billion Trump got from MBS (he won't say when) went. In late 2017, a Saudi whistleblower later spied on by MBS via Twitter said he had the answer. (@MiddleEastEye was founded by an @guardian editor.)

The story is unconfirmed. 

1/ I personally doubt this story. But I will say this: this Saudi dissident is trusted by millions; after he blew the whistle, MBS went to *extraordinary* lengths to spy on the Twitter account he blew the whistle with; and Trump lied about his May '17 deal with MBS from the jump.

2/ So the parts that are certain are that Trump lied about the dollar-value of the deal he signed with MBS in 2017; MBS secretly offered to aid Trump's political career via Nader at Trump Tower on 8/3/16; and MBS is for some reason terrified of *this* whistleblower in particular.

3/ I never really believe a "money loaded onto a boat"-type story because that's not how it works with bribes and frankly the Ukrainians Trump was working with to destroy Clinton and Biden tried that particular lie about Clinton (they said she got "big bags of cash" as a bribe).

4/ The reason I came back tonight is that I saw the breaking news about Trump adviser Erik Prince wanting Soleimani assassinated in September 2015 and telling the Trump campaign so. I was livid that the story did not mention that Prince was then a top adviser to *MBZ of the UAE*.

5/ So the advice coming to Trump in 2015 from Prince was advice that was coming from the advisory corps of a man (MBZ) who would, with MBS in August '16, offer aid to Trump's campaign. So it wasn't just Prince who wanted this guy assassinated, but the leaders of UAE/Saudi Arabia.

6/ So, the order of events:

1️⃣ A top UAE adviser says he wants Soleimani assassinated.
2️⃣ The Red Sea Conspiracy meeting with MBS/MBZ is 45 days later.
3️⃣ Within 9 months Trump is offered aid by MBS and MBZ.
4️⃣ Now he's assassinated the guy.
5️⃣ Sometime $1 billion changed hands.

7/ There's no reason to give Trump money by boat; he's set up more clandestine ways to pay him. But given that a second assassination attempt happened the same night as Soleimani, and it was one MBS but not America wanted/needed, it's possible MBS is paying us to assassinate men.

8/ The NYT reported that on August 3, 2016, MBS emissary Nader and MBZ emissary Prince offered to aid Trump's election, apparently via money. So the one thing you *can't* say is MBS and MBZ paying Trump *sometime* is crazy. No, it's exactly what the family discussed with MBS/MBZ.

9/ What we didn't know is that an MBZ rep had given specific targeting info to the Trump campaign prior to the offer of money to the campaign. Nor did we know until yesterday that Trump tried to slip past America a *second assassination* that had *no* clear US-interest imminence.

10/ So given all these facts reported by major media, of course when I saw that no one knows what $1 billion from MBS Trump is talking about, I immediately recalled this 2017 whistleblower story I never quite bought at the time, and still don't, but that's stuck with me somehow.

11/ We must be mature enough to say "OK, this is an unconfirmed story. It nevertheless seems to point to *something* worth pursuing, given that this whistleblower has millions of followers and MBS sees him as a clear and present danger to his regime." What it means, I don't know.

12/ Below is one of the stories that inspired the numberless hours of research into major-media investigations that became Proof of Conspiracy. The Middle East Eye is a group of very serious journalists putting themselves at real risk to do this reporting. 

13/ If you've been following major-media reporting on ties between Trump, Prince, Nader, Bannon, MBS, MBZ, Putin and Dmitriev, you know each time we learn more of the story, it gets worse and more harrowing. Few doubt crimes are being hidden, it's just determining their contours.

14/ Proof of Conspiracy is the most exhaustive compilation of major-media data-points on what Trump's doing in the Middle East ever put between two covers. And if you've read it, you know much of it is about assassinations, mercenaries, illicit payments and regime change in Iran.

15/ But unless you've exposed yourself to the mass of major-media reporting on the subject, it sounds bizarre. It sounded bizarre to *me* until I read hundreds of NYT, WP, WSJ, ProPublica, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Buzzfeed News (et. al.) investigative reports and saw their narratives.

PS/ To be clear, when I say "I don't buy it" I mean my gut instinct as an ex-criminal investigator; I'm not referring to the outlet, which is reliable and whose stories have *consistently* slotted in with the thousands of major-media US investigative reports on the same subjects.

PS2/ No OSINT investigator works off one data-point, whether it's a single-source article or one article with many sources. Curatorial journalists like me *especially* don't do so. We're looking for narratives arising from *thousands* of networked *reliable, major-media sources*.

PS3/ So view the story atop this thread as coming from a reliable media node and presenting a single-source story that's 100% on point with a metanarrative thousands of sources collectively confirm, even as its details await getting linked up with a large number of other stories.

PS4/ So far it links up to maybe 100 other data nodes in Proof of Conspiracy, but we need *more*. For instance, it links to the Twitter spying scandal MBS was behind; missing money in the 2017 deal and $1 billion missing now; the covered-up second assassination attempt; 97+ more.

PS5/ For those confused by the difference between an anonymous "rumor" and a single-source whistleblower story from a credible source later targeted by the subject of the whistleblowing via very expensive and dangerous means, I advise reading up on how data enters a network map.

PS6/ If you've a reliable media outlet, a reliable source who says what their sourcing is, subsequent retribution corroborating at least a fear of the whistleblower, and a fit with 100 existing data-points, a story *still* might not enter an investigation as more than an outlier.

PS7/ The story atop this thread wasn't sufficiently networked with other stories to make it into Proof of Conspiracy. But now that we have missing Saudi money tied to a military deal this whistleblower report must come out so new, rigorous OSINT can be conducted around the world.

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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