On Sunday, lawyer Michael Avenatti posted screenshots from Trump Tower in December 2016 that appeared to show Qatari official and investor Ahmed Al-Rumaihi—who is facing a lawsuit which, among other allegations, says that he attempted to bribe Steve Bannon and implied he had bribed Michael Flynn—meeting with Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn at Trump Tower.
Tonight, Sport Trinity—the company that is being sued—confirmed in a statement to CNN that Al-Rumaihi had been at Trump Tower that day, but denied that he ever met with Flynn.
“Mr. Al-Rumaihi was at Trump Tower on December 12, 2016. He was there in his then role as head of Qatar Investments, an internal division of [Qatari Investment Authority], to accompany the Qatari delegation that was meeting with Trump transition officials on that date,” spokesperson for Sport Trinity told CNN. “He did not participate in any meetings with Michael Flynn, and his involvement in the meetings on that date was limited.”
Jassim Al-Thani, Qatar’s media attaché, also told CNN that the meetings were to discuss “many critical areas, including: regional security, military cooperation, counterterrorism, and economic partnership.” He also said that Al-Rumaihi “was present at Trump Tower but did not participate in any meetings.”
While Sport Trinity said that Al-Rumaihi didn’t meet with Flynn, a source told CNN that during one of the meetings that day, Cohen “briefly popped in.”
Al-Rumaihi is a former deputy at Qatar’s American embassy, and now runs a $100 billion Qatari investment fund. In a lawsuit filed last week, investor Jeff Kwatinetz of the BIG3 basketball league (which he co-owns with rapper and actor Ice Cube) alleged that Al-Rumaihi asked him to participate in attempting to bribe Steve Bannon.
“I stated that neither I nor Steve Bannon would ever take, or even entertain the concept, of a bribe of any kind,” Kwatinetz said in a legal filing. “Mr. Al-Rumaihi laughed and then stated to me that I shouldn’t be naive, that so many Washington politicians take our money, and stated ‘do you think Flynn turned down our money?’”
“Simply put, the statements in Mr. Kwatinetz’s declaration are pure Hollywood fiction,” a spokesperson for Sport Trinity said in a statement to Splinter on Monday. “Mr. Kwatinetz is engaging in a xenophobic PR smear campaign against Sport Trinity, the largest investor in BIG3 basketball, to cover up his own mismanagement and erratic behavior with respect to the league. Mr. Kwatinetz’s commercial dispute with Sport Trinity is meritless.”