UAE lobbyist and consultant David Rothkopf speaks about Saudi Arabia on MSNBC on October 16, 2018.
On Thursday, the Daily Beast published an article about the Saudi/US relationship by David Rothkopf, a long-time member in good standing of the U.S. Foreign Policy elite. Until last year, he was the editor-in-chief of the establishment journal Foreign Policy, named to that position in 2012 when it was owned by the Washington Post. He’s also a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a visiting professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He was previously deputy undersecretary of commerce for international trade policy in the Clinton administration and managing director of Kissinger Associates, the advisory firm founded by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.
But, unbeknownst to Daily Beast readers consuming his commentary about Saudi Arabia, Rothkopf is something else: a paid lobbyist for the Saudi regime’s close ally, the equally despotic regime of the United Arab Emirates. Last month, Rothkopf formally registered as a foreign agent for the Emiratis.
On September 12, Rothkopf personally signed a contract with the UAE regime to be paid $50,000 every month, for a period of three years, to, among other services, “provide day-to-day advice on the development of messages”; to work on “media projects [and] outreach efforts”; and to “prepare memoranda [and] talking points” for the “Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to develop and support specific programs and initiatives within the United States.”
Although the contract is in the name of “The Rothkopf Group,” that entity appears to have little real existence beyond Rothkopf himself. It has a Twitter account that has never tweeted, a website that cannot be accessed without a password, and a Linkedin page that lists a tiny handful of employees, the most senior of whom (its “Vice President and Senior Project Manager”) most recently worked as a Capitol Hill intern, a “professional dancer,” a yoga instructor and an assistant to a Commerce Under Secretary for 7 months. So one can safely assume that the vast majority of the $600,000 annual payment from UAE goes to Rothkopf personally.