President Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is reportedly in the middle of negotiating a consulting deal with the Democratic Republic of Congo, possibly through an Israeli firm that was paid $8 million by the rogue African country to prevent further economic sanctions by enlisting the help of Trump-connected U.S. lobbyists. Sources cited by The New York Times late Monday said Giuliani was spotted in attendance at a swanky cocktail party in D.C. in July headlined by the Congolese special envoy to the United States. While the event was presented as a chance for U.S. officials to discuss the “strategic relationship” between the U.S. and African nations, the Times reports that it was actually part of Congolese President Joseph Kabila’s aggressive lobbying effort to persuade the Trump administration to drop further sanctions—a campaign that has reportedly seen Kabila’s government pay an Israeli firm called Mer Security and Communication Systems $8 million to hire American lobbyists close to the Trump administration. One source cited by the Times said Giuliani is “possibly” negotiating a consulting deal with the DRC through Mer. Giuliani is said to have indirectly confirmed the negotiations in comments to the Times, saying “if I do it, it would only be security consulting” similar to work he does in other countries. It was not immediately clear if Mer was in fact involved in those negotiations.
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