AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft attended a star-studded state dinner in honor of Qatar’s emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Treasury Department on Monday night.
- Kraft, a prominent Trump ally, has been charged along with other male business executives with soliciting prostitution at a Jupiter, Florida massage parlor and spa; Kraft has pleaded not guilty.
- Kraft, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, was seated next to IMF leader and incoming European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde, and was at the same table as Trump and the emir himself.
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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who’s facing charges for soliciting prostitutes, attended a star-studded state dinner in honor of Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Treasury Department on Monday night.
Kraft, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, was seated next to IMF leader and incoming European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde, and was at the same table as Trump and the emir himself.
The dinner, hosted by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, was also attended by White House advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Goldman Sachs executive and former White House official Dina Powell, among other high-profile figures, The New York Times reported.
At the dinner, intended to bolster the US’s relationship with the small but extremely wealthy nation of Qatar, Trump joked in his prepared remarks to the emir that the dinner was "a who’s who, Tamim, of business. Even you are impressed, and that’s pretty hard. But this really is. This is a great room. Many friends."
While Kraft is an important business executive and a prominent Trump ally, his presence at the prestigious dinner was particularly notable given the legal controversy Kraft has been embroiled in this year.
On February 14, Kraft and a number of other male business executives— including former Citigroup president John Havens and Republican mega-donor John Childs — were charged with soliciting prostitution at a Jupiter, Florida massage parlor and spa. Kraft has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges.
After Kraft’s arrest was announced, Trump called the events "very sad," adding, "I was very surprised to see it. He’s proclaimed his innocence totally, but I’m very surprised to see it."
While authorities say they possess surveillance video footage of Kraft and other defendants engaged in the alleged solitication of prostitution, a Florida judge ruled in April to block their release to the media and the public until the cases go to trial or are resolved with plea agreements.
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