On Sunday, the Jordanian state news agency Petra published a story in which Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman boasted about funding 20 percent of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In a statement Monday, Petra said the now-deleted story was published as part of a “hack.”
“The Agency was surprised to see some media outlets as well as the social media publishing false news that were attributed to Petra,” the statement reads. “They said that Petra transmitted a news item related to the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia and later deleted this news item. This is totally false and untrue.”
The Institute for Gulf Affairs, a DC-based think tank that is historically critical of the Saudi monarchy, took screenshots of the Arabic-language story before it was removed, and translated the remarks attributed to the prince:
Saudi Arabia always has sponsored both Republican and Democratic Party of America and in America current election also provide with full enthusiasm 20% of the cost of Hillary Clinton’s election even though some events in the country don’t have a positive look to support the king of a woman for presidency.
We are pleased that the vast majority of Saudi Arabia’s foreign exchange reserves is in America and America and the United Nations know that Saudi Arabia is a power and should not ignore it.
Campaign finance law bars foreign countries from funding U.S. candidates. A spokesman for the Podesta Group—a lobbying firm founded by John Podesta, who served as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and now serves as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman—assured Middle East Eye that the Saudi Royal Court (a client of the firm) had not provided funding to the Clinton campaign.
The deputy crown prince is meeting with officials in Washington and bankers in New York this week to discuss U.S.-Saudi political and financial ties. It will feel good to get away from all this drama.