Thomas Barrack told a UAE official that Trump considered appointing him ambassador to the country and ‘give Abu Dhabi more power’: prosecutors

thomas barrack
Thomas Barrack, executive chairman, Colony Northstar, speaks at the Milken Institute’s 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. May 1, 2018.

  • Trump considered making Thomas Barrack the UAE Ambassador, according to messages obtained by prosecutors.
  • Prosecutors arrested Barrack Tuesday on charges of trying to influence US foreign policy on the UAE’s behalf.
  • Trump appointing Barrack would “give Abu Dhabi more power!” Barrack told a UAE official, prosecutors allege.
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Thomas Barrack – the Donald Trump associate arrested Tuesday on charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent – told an official of the United Arab Emirates that the ex-president considered appointing him as the US ambassador to the UAE and that the move would “give Abu Dhabi more power!” according to court documents filed by prosecutors.

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Barrack with seven felony counts. Barrack was the chairman of former President Trump’s inaugural fund as well as a campaign advisor following decades of work together in the real estate industry.

Prosecutors also charged Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, a UAE official, as well as Matthew Grimes, a US citizen, in the indictment. Justice Department officials said the group conspired to influence US foreign policy with regards to the UAE, and that Barrack lied about their activities to the FBI.

A spokesperson for Barrack told Insider he planned to plead not guilty. Prosecutors said in a press release that Alshahhi remains at large.

In April 2017, according to charging documents, Barrack told Alshahhi that he spoke to Trump. Trump discussed whether to appoint his longtime friend as the US ambassador to the UAE or as a Special Envoy in the State Department for the Middle East, Barrack said, according to prosecutors.

Barrack said that either appointment “would give Abu Dhabi much power!” according to prosecutors.

According to prosecutors, Alshahhi praised Barrack for a “very effective operation” in persuading Trump. Alshahhi also told Barrack that senior UAE officials “loved the idea” of Barrack as an ambassador or envoy and would support it, prosecutors said.

Barrack’s company Colony NorthStar raised more than $7 billion the year following Trump’s inauguration, with 24% of that money coming from the Persian Gulf, according to the New York Times.

Trump ultimately left the UAE ambassador post vacant for two years, nominating former construction executive and Republican fundraiser John Rakolta to the position in May 2018. He also appointed a former Trump Organization lawyer, Jason Greenblatt, as a special envoy to the Middle East. Barrack had not taken a position in the US government before Trump left office in January 2017, though according to the New York Times he rejected offers to become Treasury secretary and the US ambassador to Mexico.

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A Miami store manager and dozens of shoppers were injured after being sprayed with bear repellent by a suspected candle thief, police say

bath and body works
A Bath and Body Works store.

  • A man injured at least 30 people by spraying bear mace during a suspected robbery, police said.
  • The incident occurred at Miami International Mall in a branch of Bath and Body Works.
  • Dozens were injured following the incident and one store manager was hospitalized.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A suspect in Doral, Florida, escaped from Miami International Mall after spraying customers with bear repellent before stealing candles from a store, police said.

The incident occurred on July 17 at around 4 p.m EDT, according to authorities. Police said the suspect stole two bags of scented candles from homeware chain Bath and Body Works. They then sprayed the manager of the store directly in the face before fleeing, NBC 6 first reported.

At least 30 people were injured, which included 15 Bath and Body Works employees, customers and mall shoppers outside the store, Doral police spokesperson Rey Valdes told CNN.

The manager of the store was hospitalized following the incident, according to Valdes.

“We started coughing, actually, where we were and we weren’t even that close,” a mall shopper told NBC 6. “We felt it. We could smell it. We could breath it.”

Doral Police and Miami International Mall did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment.

Authorities said that each injured person could be considered a victim of aggravated battery, according to CNN.

Commenting on the incident, Valdes told the outlet: “This is one of those ‘only in Miami’ stories.”

The suspect was last seen exiting the mall in a yellow taxi, according to Valdes. He has not yet been identified by authorities.

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Colombians accused in Haiti assassination were once trained by the US military, Pentagon says

Armed police officers stand in front of a mural of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse
Armed police in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

  • A “small number” of Colombians detained in the assassination of Haiti’s president received US military training, the Pentagon told The Washington Post.
  • They received the training while they were active members of the Colombian Military Forces, the Pentagon said.
  • It’s unclear when the training took place or how many of the suspects took part in it.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A “small number” of Colombians detained in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse had previously received US military training, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

“A review of our training databases indicates that a small number of the Colombian individuals detained as part of this investigation had participated in past U.S. military training and education programs, while serving as active members of the Colombian Military Forces,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman told The Washington Post.

It’s unclear how many Colombians had the training as well as when the training to place, though Colombia is a US military partner and its military members have received training and education for decades, The Post reported.

Hoffman told The Post that the Pentagon is reviewing its training databases.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Haitian police have said that 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans are among the suspects in Moïse’s assassination.

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Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg started quitting his positions with the company’s subsidiaries days before his indictment

Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg exits after his arraignment hearing in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., July 1, 2021.
Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg exits after his arraignment hearing in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., July 1, 2021.

Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg began quitting his positions with the company’s subsidiaries at least a week before the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced a 15-count indictment against him, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.

The Trump Organization submitted a letter dated June 25 to New Jersey liquor regulators announcing his resignation from the subsidiaries, according to the Post. Weisselberg’s attorneys met with prosecutors on June 24 in a failed attempt to persuade them not to charge him, the Post previously reported.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced the indictment on July 1, accusing Weisselberg and the Trump Organization of a wide-ranging and long-running tax fraud scheme. Weisselberg and lawyers for the former president’s company pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Insider first reported last week on filings in the UK showing that Weisselberg quit his role with one of the Trump Organization’s Scottish golf courses.

Documents filed Friday with the Florida Division of Corporations show he resigned from other subsidiaries as well. The Post identified 54 different subsidiaries from which Weisselberg resigned overall.

Prior to the indictments, prosecutors tried without success to “flip” Weisselberg into cooperating with their larger, ongoing investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances.

In addition to the tax charges filed against Weisselberg and the company, Manhattan prosecutors had been reviewing whether the Trump Organization broke financial laws by misrepresenting property values for favorable tax, loan, and insurance rates, or by facilitating a hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels over her claims that she had an affair with ex-President Donald Trump.

Lawyers for Weisselberg and representatives for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

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Ex-solider colleague of accused Haiti assassins: ‘There has to have been a conspiracy’

Haiti Jovenel Moise and wife Martine Moise
Jovenel Moïse and his wife Martine Moïse in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on November 28, 2016, after he won the country’s 2016 presidential election.

  • A former solider who was a colleague of the Colombian mercenaries suspected of assassinating the Haitian President says he doesn’t believe the men he knew were the killers.
  • He told Reuters that he and the other Colombian men were hired as bodyguards.
  • He said there “has to have been a conspiracy.”
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A former solider who was a colleague of the Colombian mercenaries suspected of assassinating Haitian President Jovenel Moise says he doesn’t believe that the men he knows were the killers.

Haitian authorities have said 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans were behind Moise’s killing, but Matias Gutierrez, a retired special forces sniper who now works in security, told Reuters that he and the other Colombian men were hired as bodyguards.

“It wasn’t our commandos. There has to have been a conspiracy,” Gutierrez told Reuters. “Their extraction was total chaos. Why? Because they weren’t going on an assault, they went in support of a request by the security forces of the president.”

Gutierrez said he was not with the group last week because he tested positive for COVID-19.

Moise was killed in his home in the early morning of July 7. A motive for the president’s killing remains unclear.

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A McDonald’s manager had a gun pulled on them after 2 customers complained about the amount of salt on their fries

jetcityimage/Getty Images
A McDonald’s Restaurant.

  • Two individuals were arrested for allegedly pointing a gun at a McDonald’s manager in Texas.
  • Police said the incident occurred after a verbal altercation about the salt on their fries.
  • The pair were charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon following the incident.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Texas police arrested two individuals for allegedly pointing a gun at a McDonald’s manager in a dispute over the amount of salt on their fries.

The alleged incident occurred on July 4 at a McDonald’s restaurant north of Houston, The Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office said in a statement.

Authorities said that video surveillance and multiple witnesses caught the suspects pointing a firearm at the manager during a verbal dispute at the drive-thru section of the restaurant.

Davion Guillory, 23, and Trykia Cohen, 25, were later charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

After the altercation, the pair drove off, but authorities were able to track down the car and detain them, per the police statement. Constable Mark Herman said that each individual was bailed on a $10,000 bond.

Herman added that Cohen was already out on probation for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon when the incident occurred.

McDonald’s did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment. Guillory and Cohen could not be reached for comment.

In a separate incident in July, a McDonald’s manager in Missouri lost an eye after an ex-employee’s father attacked him with a rake.

In another incident, police in Memphis said they arrested two customers for starting a shooting at Burger King because their chicken sandwich had too much hot sauce in it, Insider reported.

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Video reportedly shows the aftermath of Haiti president’s assassination

A screengrab from a video showing the aftermath of the Haiti assassination
A video reportedly shows security responding after the president of Haiti was assassinated early Wednesday

  • Video from outside the home of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse reportedly shows the aftermath of his assassination.
  • A number of people can be seen with guns standing outside following the attack.
  • Moïse was assassinated early Wednesday morning at his home.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Video from outside the home of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse reportedly shows a large security response following his assassination early Wednesday morning.

The video, first obtained by Journal la Diaspora and posted by the Miami Herald, shows a number of people with guns standing on a dark street after the attack.

The clip also appears to show someone lying in the middle of the street.

Moïse was killed at around 1 a.m. local time by a group of unknown assailants, Haitian Prime Minister Claude Joseph said in a Wednesday statement.

The first lady, Martine Moïse, was also injured in the attack, the statement said.

Joseph has not publicly identified the assailants but said some of them spoke Spanish.

In another video obtained by the Miami Herald, a person can be heard shouting in English, “DEA operation” and “stand down.”

The Miami Herald reported that the assassins were mercenaries and that the US Drug Enforcement Agency was not involved, citing a high-ranking Haitian official.

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A Saudi prince has been accused of modern-day slavery by maids in his apartment outside Paris

A Saudi Arabian flag in the wind against clear sky in the Al Madinah Province, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia on December 26, 2019.
A Saudi Arabian flag in the wind against clear sky in the Al Madinah Province, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia on December 26, 2019.

  • French prosecutors have launched a human trafficking investigation into allegations against a Saudi prince.
  • Seven women who used to work for the prince say they were forced to work in modern-day slavery conditions.
  • The women worked for the prince’s family between 2008 and 2015 in both Saudi Arabia and a suburb of Paris.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Saudi Arabian prince has been accused of carrying out acts of modern-day slavery by seven women who worked as maids in his apartment outside Paris.

French prosecutors have launched a human trafficking investigation into the allegations, the prosecutors’ office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre told AFP.

A source told AFP that the women, who are mostly from the Philippines, said they were recruited in Saudi Arabia and worked for the prince’s family between 2008 and 2015 in both Saudi Arabia and in the Neuilly-sur-Seine suburb of Paris.

The women, who escaped employment while on a trip in France and filed a complaint in 2019, told investigators they were required to sleep on the floor, worked almost nonstop, and went hungry because they had little time to eat, according to French publication RFI.

The Saudi prince involved in the allegations has not been publicly named.

Prosecutors heard testimony from the former employees last month, but the prince has not been questioned, a source told AFP.

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A McDonald’s manager lost an eye after an-ex employee’s father assaulted him with a rake in Missouri. It marks the latest in a series of violent attacks at fast-food chains.

Mc
A McDonald’s manager lost an eye after being attacked by a fired employee’s dad, KPLR reported.

  • A McDonald’s manager lost an eye after being attacked by an ex-employee’s dad, KPLR reported.
  • The victim was beaten with a 5-foot-long rake and now wears a prosthetic eye.
  • A Missouri man has found guilty of the attack and is facing 30 years in prison.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Missouri man faces 30 years in prison after he was found guilty of attacking a McDonald’s manager with a rake. The victim subsequently lost an eye and now wears a prosthetic one, KPLR reported.

The incident, which took place in Chesterfield, Missouri, on January 9, 2019, occurred after a dispute involving the defendant, Kendell Cooks, who said his daughter was fired by the manager in question.

There has been a recent uptick in violent attacks taking place at fast-food and drink chains. This month, police said they arrested two customers for a shooting at a Memphis Burger King restaurant after they were reportedly served a chicken sandwich with too much hot sauce, per Insider’s Grace Dean.

In another similar incident, a Florida man was accused of pulling a gun on a Starbucks employee, who turned out to be the local police chief’s daughter, over not having cream cheese for his bagel.

The McDonald’s attack in Chesterfield, Missouri, led to Cooks, 38, being charged on three counts of first-degree assault, armed criminal action, and a felony count of property damage.

It all began after a McDonald’s employee – Cooks’s daughter – was dismissed by her manager, Jeffery Jackson, for reportedly not wearing the standard work attire and using improper language in front of customers, per KPLR.

Cooks claimed the manager shoved his daughter out the restaurant door but this was contradicted by video footage, according to St. Louis County Circuit judge Nellie Ribaudo.

Following the firing, Cooks and several others then drove to McDonald’s and beat Jackson, who was sitting in his car during a lunch break. They used a 5-foot-long rake obtained from nearby trash as weapons.

KPLR reported that the attack was filmed in part on Jackson’s dashboard camera, and that glass and blood was found inside the victim’s car after the offense.

Jackson had to undergo five surgeries to repair his vision but still ended up losing an eye, per KPLR. “It was a very dangerous crime, a life-threatening crime,” Sam Alton, chief of staff for Wesley Bell, the prosecuting attorney of St. Louis County, told the outlet.

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If prosecutors charge Trump’s company or one of its executives this week, the former president can still be targeted down the line

donald trump open mouth field
Former president Donald Trump greets the crowd gathered at the Lorain County Fair Grounds in Wellington, Ohio, United States on June 26, 2021.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office reportedly may file charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer this week, but one person they aren’t likely to come after right now is Donald Trump.

In a Monday interview with Politico, Trump lawyer Ronald Fischetti said Manhattan prosecutors assured him that Trump would not be personally charged.

But that doesn’t mean the former president is definitively off the hook.

Fischetti himself acknowledged to Politico that the investigation remains ongoing, and charges against Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg or any other particular executive in a first indictment will likely strengthen prosecutors’ case, according to legal experts.

“The district attorney’s office is looking to take all the oxygen out of the room,” Randy Zelin, a defense attorney at Wilk Auslander LLP and former New York state prosecutor, told Insider. “And make those people who really don’t want to go to jail little choice but to turn around and cooperate.”

The district attorney’s office has not accused anyone of wrongdoing at this point, but it has empaneled a special grand jury to weigh indictments in the case. Prosecutors may bring charges against Trump personally, the Trump Organization as a company, specific executives, or it may not bring charges at all.

A representative for the Manhattan DA declined to comment. Through a representative, Fischetti declined Insider’s request for comment.

In a Friday interview with NBC News, Fischetti said prosecutors want to use other witnesses to testify against Trump.

“They could not get Allen Weisselberg to cooperate and tell them what they wanted to hear, and that’s why they are going forward with these charges,” Fischetti told NBC News. “They could not get him to cooperate because he would not say that Donald Trump had knowledge or any information that he may have been not deducting properly the use of cars or an apartment.”

Charges against Trump’s executives, or his company, would help prosecutors make that case.

Trump’s lawyer didn’t rule out charges against him down the line

For two years, the Manhattan DA’s office has been investigating whether the Trump Organization broke state laws by misrepresenting the value of its properties in order to pay little in taxes while securing favorable loan and insurance rates.

The investigation was sparked by testimony from Michael Cohen, the former Trump Organization executive who said the company illegally facilitated hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels. Prosecutors also reportedly have been examining whether the company or its executives broke laws by taking benefits like rent-free apartments, cars, and tuition payments from the company without paying the appropriate taxes.

Fischetti told Politico that prosecutors informed him the Trump Organization would not be charged for crimes related to property value manipulation or hush-money payments – but they did not mention the tax-free benefits.

He also did not mention the potential charges against Weisselberg. If prosecutors bring charges against Trump’s money man, they may have a better chance of flipping him.

They have already gone to great lengths subpoenaing Weisselberg’s personal finances and even his grandchildren’s school, where his ex-daughter-in-law, Jennifer Weisselberg, said he arranged for tuition payments. But the Trump loyalist still appears to resist agreeing to be a witness.

trump family allen weisselberg
Trump along with his children Eric (L) Ivanka and Donald Jr.(R) arrive for a press conference at Trump Tower in New York in 2017, accompanied by Allen Weisselberg.

“Once they’re no longer bluffing and you’ve been charged, you’ll see how quickly people who thought they could play games, and thought they could play poker with the district attorney’s office, are now beating down the district attorney’s office door to cooperate,” Zelin told Insider.

If he ultimately agreed to cooperate, Weisselberg would be a star witness in the case.

Thanks to two wins at the Supreme Court, prosecutors already have reams of tax and other financial documents from the Trump Organization. But Weisselberg would be invaluable in presenting those documents to jurors and illustrating whether the company manipulated financial documents – and whether Trump played a role.

Barbara Res, a former Trump Organization executive who worked with Weisselberg for nearly 20 years, previously told Insider that despite his steadfast loyalty to Trump, Weisselberg would probably agree to cooperate if he faced criminal charges.

“It’s a very different thing than just doing a favor for Trump or engendering his admiration,” Res said. “Now you’re asking people to take their loyalty to Trump, and keep it, even though they may have to go to jail for it.”

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