The BBC has acquired leaked emails that revealed a lobbying effort conjured to get the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sacked for failing to support the United Arab Emirates (UAE) against the long standing Qatar blockade.
The settlements had taken place between President Donald Trump's fundraiser and UAE-linked businessman Elliot Broidy. The associates met the US president in October 2017 and urged him to sack Tillerson.
More exposed emails showed that Tillerson was referred to as "a tower of Jello" and called "weak". One email said that he "needs to be slammed".
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Broidy says Qatar hacked his emails.
"We have reason to believe this hack was sponsored and carried out by registered and unregistered agents of Qatar seeking to punish Mr Broidy for his strong opposition to state-sponsored terrorism," a spokesperson for the businessman said.
Some of the emails "may have been altered" but did not elaborate, he added.
Qatari officials denied the claims in a statement to the BBC. Its communications office said: "Qatar would like to state unequivocally that it has not engaged in or committed any of the alleged accusations made falsely by Mr Broidy, nor has it engaged or paid anyone to do so.
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"We believe that Mr Broidy's baseless accusations are simply a diversionary tactic to distract attention from the serious allegations against himself and his client the Government of the United Arab Emirates.
"The Government of Qatar reserves its right to taking any necessary legal action as the victim of false allegations by Mr Broidy or others."
Circinus, Broidy's defence company has high value contacts with the UAE. He had only recently returned from the UAE when he met Trump at the White House in October.
This article originally appeared in the BBC.
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