Welcome to Pay Dirt—exclusive reporting and research from The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay on corruption, campaign finance, and influence-peddling in the nation’s capital. For Beast Inside members only.
A scandal-plagued Republican fundraiser enlisted, and paid for, the services of a veteran U.S. diplomat with deep connections in Washington’s foreign-policy intelligentsia as the fundraiser used his Trump administration connections to advance interests aligned with Gulf monarchies.
Ambassador Dennis Ross, a Middle East policy expert who served in senior diplomatic posts in the Obama, Clinton, and George H.W. Bush administrations, was paid at least $10,000 in early 2018 by Elliott Broidy, then a finance co-chair of the Republican National Committee. Ross confirmed the arrangement to PAY DIRT in an interview Wednesday evening, and said he did not know at the time that Broidy was running an influence campaign designed to steer U.S. policy in the Middle East.