The contribution came as President Obama attempted to negotiate the nuclear agreement with Iran, Saudi’s regional adversary, raising concerns that a foreign government influenced internal US policy.
A new scandal has erupted involving US Senator John McCain of Arizona — his nonprofit organization, the McCain Institute for International Leadership, received a $1 million donation from the repressive government of Saudi Arabia in 2014. The news is likely to impact his closely contested US Senate race against Arizona Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, a race that pollsters say is within the margin of error.
US federal law strictly bans foreign contributions to electoral campaigns, but the restriction does not apply to nonprofits engaged in policy even those organizations bearing the name of a sitting lawmaker. Although likely not a technical violation of the law, McCain’s foundation is interconnected with his reelection campaign, the candidate’s fundraiser is listed as the contact person for the foundation.