One of Saudi Arabia’s richest men and an adviser to the Saudi royal family was revealed Friday to be a top donor of the Clinton Foundation, in a revelation that comes even as Hillary Clinton continues to battle it out in the Democratic presidential primaries.
Nasser al-Rashid has donated between $1 million to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation according to its site, placing him at the top of the foundation’s donors, reports Washington Free Beacon on Friday.
His donations were accepted despite the fact that one of his sons, Ibrahim, pleaded guilty to brutally assaulting his estranged wife in 2014. All together his children have donated nearly $600,000 to Democratic campaigns in recent years.
The donations have raised concerns about foreign influence, particularly as they come from Saudi Arabia. The White House is expected to release a document said to reveal that the Saudi government was linked to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, and just this Tuesday the Senate passed a bill allowing victims of the attack to sue Saudi Arabia.
“This raises a very simple question in my mind – why is this family of one of Saudi Arabia’s richest billionaires and a key adviser to the royal family pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into our political system to elect and influence these Democrats?,” said Ian Prior, a Republican political operative and Senate Leadership Fund spokesperson as quoted by Washington Free Beacon.
A former official from President George W. Bush’s administration was also quoted by the paper as saying, “there are a wide range of donors to this foundation from a number of Gulf countries, where women are treated like second class citizens.”
“Individuals from these countries, which are often weak on terrorism finance enforcement, also have outsized influence over this powerful foundation, with real international implications,” warned the official.
The Saudi donor Nasser al-Rashid is the founder and chairman of Rashid Engineer in Riyadh, and he is one of Saudi Arabia’s five richest people.
A senior political operative involved in tracking on the 2016 elections told Washington Free Beacon that the donations raise concerns about foreign influence in the American political system.
“Saudi Arabia is anti-Israel, anti-woman, and anti-human rights, yet Hillary Clinton’s Foundation takes millions from the Saudi government and well-connected billionaires like this al-Rashid,” the unnamed source said.
“Now we have down ballot Democrats looking the other way and taking money from al-Rashid’s sons, one of whom committed domestic violence. This from the party that uses divisive ‘war on women’ rhetoric at every turn.”