Newsmax got funding from Qatari royal family during Trump administration: WaPo

Newsmax, the conservative cable news channel touted by former President Trump and his allies, received funding from a member of the Qatari royal family during Trump’s years in the White House, according to a new report.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that a member of the Qatari royal family invested roughly $50 million in Newsmax in 2019 and 2020, citing documents and representatives for the media company and the royal.

At the time the investment was made, the Post noted a coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had put up a diplomatic and economic blockade against Qatar, over what they said were ties to terrorist organizations.

After the investment was made, leaders at the conservative cable news channel encouraged staffers to “soften coverage of Qatar,” the Post reported.

Newsmax disputed that characterization in a statement to The Hill on Tuesday.

“In 2019 Newsmax received a minority investment from a UK-based fund with a Qatari investor that also invested in a company associated with the current Washington Post publisher,” a spokesperson for the company said. “Newsmax’s coverage of Qatar has always been balanced, including publishing many online and TV reports quite critical of its activities.”

Newsmax gained some traction with Trump supporters around the time of the 2020 election, but has come under fire in recent years for its coverage of vaccines and the former president’s false claims of voter fraud, among other issues.

Dominion Voting Systems sued the company after the 2020 election for defamation, seeking more than a billion dollars in damages, with a judge last fall setting a trial in that case for September.

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