Trump’s former treasury secretary expected to launch investment fund, seeking backing of Persian Gulf state funds

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The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia control some of the region’s largest investment funds, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, which tracks these types of funds.

Mnuchin frequently traveled to the Middle East throughout the Trump administration, most often in relation to treasury’s mandate to combat terrorism financing abroad. In the waning weeks of the Trump administration, as Washington reeled from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and questions swirled around whether Trump’s Cabinet would try to remove him from power, Mnuchin was on a diplomatic swing through the Middle East and Africa, visiting Sudan, Egypt, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He had planned to visit Kuwait as well, but cut the trip short in the aftermath of the riot.

Mnuchin also visited the region in October to promote commercial ties in the wake of the Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and several Arab states. Mnuchin and Jared Kushner, former president Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, also helped put together the Bahrain conference in 2019 that helped lead to the Abraham Accords.

Mnuchin traveled to Saudi Arabia and met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in October 2018, even as the Saudi royal was widely suspected of ordering the brutal killing just weeks earlier of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Following in the footsteps of other former senior government officials, Mnuchin has put himself on the speaking circuit since leaving the Treasury Department, and plans to charge $250,000 to speak in person, Bloomberg News reported last week.