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You are here News Journalism & Media National Enquirer firm asked U.S. if it should register as foreign agent for Saudis

National Enquirer firm asked U.S. if it should register as foreign agent for Saudis

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national enquirer special edition promoting Saudi Arabia

The company that publishes the National Enquirer was concerned enough that it may have acted as an agent of Saudi Arabia that it asked the Justice Department last year whether it needed to register as a foreign lobbyist, a person with knowledge of Saudi Arabia's lobbying efforts in the U.S. confirms to NBC News.

Communications between the Justice Department and American Media Inc. offer the fullest picture to date of interactions between the tabloid publisher and the Saudis ahead of AMI's release last year of a fawning magazine about Saudi Arabia's young leader. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who has accused AMI of blackmailing him with intimate photos, has questioned whether Saudi Arabia may have been involved, a claim the kingdom denies.

A July 2018 letter from Justice Department lawyers to AMI and posted to a government website shows that the Justice Department's National Security Division ultimately told the publisher that, based on AMI's own statements, it did not need to register. Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, people or entities that work to advance a foreign country's political interests in the U.S. must disclose their specific activities and register as foreign lobbyists.

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