By Ryan Grim
In the blink of a Michael Avenatti tweet, Ahmed al-Rumaihi has suddenly found himself internet-famous. It began on Sunday evening, when the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels posted a screenshot of video footage from Trump Tower’s lobby, recorded on December 12, 2016.
Viral speculation followed, with online detectives identifying al-Rumaihi, the former head of a $100 billion wing of the Qatari sovereign wealth fund, in the image and linking him to a Russia-Qatar deal to sell a portion of the oil company Rosneft, which had been referenced in the Steele dossier, a set of raw intelligence reports compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.
From there, Slate took over, headlining a piece late Monday night: “Michael Cohen’s Meetings With Michael Flynn and a Qatari Diplomat Might Be the Key to Unlocking the Steele Dossier.”
Over the past two months, al-Rumaihi has shared details of his meetings that week in off-the-record interviews with The Intercept. al-Rumaihi said he was reluctant to speak out publicly, so as not to create diplomatic problems for his country, which has been the subject of a blockade led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since June. Qatar has been relying on the United States to mediate the dispute, and al-Rumaihi said he did not want to get in the way of that effort.
But al-Rumaihi, who was educated in the U.S. and served as the No. 2 in the Qatar embassy in Washington from 2008 until 2013, has changed his mind.
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Source: The Intercept_