EXCLUSIVE: In a bombshell new video leak, Republican nominee Donald Trump admitted to then-NBC host David Letterman that he constructed a transaction with notorious Saudi arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi and the Sultan of Brunei in 1988.
The Saudi businessman gained worldwide infamy as the middle man in the Iran-Contra Affair that nearly brought down the Reagan White House.
Trump has accused his Democratic opponent of unsavory ties to the Saudis repeatedly
But this is the first time he’s been caught on video openly admitting close ties to not only people from the Gulf State, but a notorious international arms dealer who nearly brought down an American government.
“I bought a boat from Adnan Kashoggi,” says Trump, adding that, “I hate to admit it, it was from the Sultan of Brunei because it was security for a loan or something”
“What are those guys like?” asked David Letterman, seizing on the unusual nature of the situation deftly
“Oh, they’re real, real sweethearts,” replied Trump, They’re real sweethearts”
“Are they mean foreboding guys?” asked the host.
“By nature they’re not the nicest guys in the world,” replied Trump with an out of character burst of understatement.
The Sultan of Brunei has been in the news more recently for declaring Sharia Law, which the New York Post described a “sex obsessed” world managed by the absolute monarch.
Kashoggi was jailed in Switzerland for part of 1988 and for reasons unknown arranged for the Sultan of Brunei to act as an intermediary to sell the 288-foot yacht renamed the Trump Princess.
Trump bought the yacht for $29 million dollars, which he claimed cost $200 million dollars to build then (in real dollars was built for $100 million and it would’ve cost $288 million today).
Ironically, Trump would decide that the Princess wasn’t large enough for him, after coyly saying that he, “had a mental problem using the ship” for personal use to Letterman, but his grandiose plans collapsed and he short sold to a Saudi Prince
He lost the Trump Princess in the early 1990s to Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal for only $20 million dollars who renamed the ship Kingdom 5KR, which is how affairs remain today.
The Kingdom 5FR has been featured in Bond films since then, and even inspired a Queen song.
“It’s been fun,” concluded Trump at the end of the segment, “I use it [the Trump Princess] for charities, for a whole lot of different charities.”
As we have all seen, Donald Trump’s charitable activities have dubious relation to actual charity.
"This is just another example of how Trump has no moral compass, especially when it comes to his relationships with foreign countries and foreign leaders,” said Scott Dworkin, Senior Advisor to the Democratic Coalition.
If Trump has been doing business with Saudi Arabia this long, perhaps it’s yet another reason why he does not want to disclose his tax returns.