The two people familiar with Qatar’s interest in Newsmax say the talks with the company have been overseen by Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, a younger brother of Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. They came during a mad scramble by the wealthy Gulf monarchy to win friends and clout in the United States as it struggled to respond to a Trump-endorsed blockade by its Arab neighbors.

The current status of the talks is unclear. An investment would make the Qataris business partners with an influential confidant of the president and bolster their clout in the world of conservative U.S. media. Trump initially endorsed efforts by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states to isolate Qatar last summer, calling it a “funder of terrorism.” But the president has since softened his stance as a months-long lobbying campaign by the country appears to be yielding results.