"Some of the purported victories were small. When, as a candidate, Trump was preparing an early 2016 speech outlining his energy policy, Barrack allegedly prepared a draft for the campaign including a favorable mention of [UAE Crown Prince Mohamed] bin Zayed.
The proposal seemed jarring, since the speech was to outline Trump’s plans to build domestic energy production and end oil imports from countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, both leading members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
When he delivered the address, Trump confusingly followed a vow to 'become, and stay, totally independent of any need to import energy from the OPEC cartel' with a promise to 'work with our gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship.'
Emirati Official 1[bin Zayed], the indictment reads, watched Trump’s speech and emailed Barrack his congratulations through an intermediary. That official reported that 'everybody here are happy with the results.'” (our emphasis)
The indictment (copy here) charges Barrack with soliciting direction, feedback and talking points from senior Emirati officials, and inviting senior Emirati officials to give him a “wish list” of foreign policy moves they wanted Washington to take for the UAE's benefit among other tasks. He then lied to Federal investigators repeatedly to cover up his activities.
In chasing Gulf oil petrodollars, it likely never occurred to Barrack that being paid handsomely to secretly influencing U.S. policy by a sketchy and authoritarian foreign government minimally had the whiff of betraying your country's values. The UAE and their like-minded brothers in Saudi Arabia are used to the custom of baksheesh, meaning a tip or more pertinently a bribe. Reportedly, Barrack's interference in our foreign policy to favor the UAE cost them (and the Saudis) $1.5 billion in payments to Barrack's company Colony Capital (recently renamed DigitalBridge). That's a lot of baksheesh, but to Barrack's clients, it's couch change to be "happy with the results."