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Home / World / Senate candidate Mark Kelly buys $ 55,000 from paid speech in the United Arab Emirates

Senate candidate Mark Kelly buys $ 55,000 from paid speech in the United Arab Emirates



Kelly talked to his twin brother and astronaut comrade Scott Kelly in a lecture series sponsored by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Kelly is now a Democratic candidate in the 2020 US Senate race for the seat of Republican Senator Martha McSally of Arizona. Kelly has pledged to reject donations from political committees for political action and to combat the influence of big money in politics as the cornerstone of the early days of his campaign. The appearance could open Kelly for criticism of foreign influence since he ran for the Senate.

CNN's KFile, which reviewed Kelly's pay-time spokesman, first contacted Kelly's campaign last Thursday to inquire about his appearance in the US UAE. An employee of Kelly's senate campaign said he received a fee of approximately $ 55,000 from his speaker office, Keppler Speakers, who booked the show and paid Kelly through a consulting firm. The counselor said Kelly had decided to return the money to Keppler Speakers this week.

In early March, The Intercept reported that Kelly had made at least 1
9 paid appearances at corporate events in the US.
According to local reports from the United Arab Emirates, Kelly and his brother spoke at the event in Abu Dhabi in June 2018 about space exploration and the future of the United Arab Emirates Space Program. The lecture was titled "Heaven Is not the Limit: Life Classes by Kelly Brothers of NASA" and was promoted to its appearance by the US Embassy in the country. NASA and the United Arab Emirates have formalized cooperation agreements on space exploration and exploration.

In a statement to CNN, Kelly's election spokesman Jacob Peters said, "Like many other former astronauts, Mark has given speeches to various groups about his experience in space, the United States Navy, and how he and his wife, former Arizona MP Gabby Giffords Working together to overcome the tragedy, this commitment was fully focused on Mark sharing his experience in space and discussing our countries' space programs. "

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In a tweet that marked his brother Scott Kelly he said he quickly broke Ramadan with the crown prince.

The paid circle of speakers is not uncommon in the world of politics. However, there has been some controversy over the nature of some speeches, and critics and ethicists have demanded that paid speeches influence. Hillary Clinton was criticized during the 2016 parliamentary elections by the political left during Democratic presidential nominations, and by the Republicans for paid corporate speeches and foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation.

President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was also criticized in 2017 for giving a speech in Russia in Moscow of $ 45,000 to RT, a Russian state television company.

Kelly's speech was held as part of a conference lecture series by the Crown Prince, who is also deputy commander-in-chief of the United Arab Emirates military. In this position, he has also played a leading role in the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, which has been accused of committing war crimes against civilians. Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have denied the allegations.

The UAE and its authoritarian government have routinely been charged with violating fundamental human rights, including numerous international human rights organizations, as well as United Nations and US State Department reports.

Kelly is not the only one who lectures. Others include former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Bill and Melinda Gates, the Microsoft founder and his wife, who jointly manage the world's largest private nonprofit organization.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated It is true that Scott Kelly tweeted about eating with the Crown Prince.


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