In response to leaks and accusations that it had attempted to influence the 2016 United States election – and later the Trump administration – the UAE on Tuesday called for critics to focus on “facts over speculation” and said that it had maintained contacts with both the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump campaigns during the run-up to the vote.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted that “attention needs to be paid to facts over innuendo & speculation; the UAE made no effort to influence the 2016 US election”:
He added that “like other governments friendly to the US, UAE officials had contact with staff & advisors in both 2016 presidential campaigns to inform and be informed of the candidate’s foreign policy positions”.
Dr Gargash’s tweets follow the leaking of hacked emails from the accounts of US political consultants George Nader and Elliott Broidy. The unverified hacks allege to show they tried to lobby Mr Trump and Congress to adopt policies in favour of the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Both men are of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, who are looking into reports of meddling by foreign powers – specifically Russia – in the presidential poll.
Neither Mr Mueller’s team nor the White House have commented on the leaks, and Mr Broidy is currently suing Qatar for allegedly hacking into his emails and distributing them to journalists.