Trump allies hope daughter Tiffany’s father-in-law can help flip Arab American votes in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — One of Donald Trump’s emissaries to Arab Americans is a Lebanese-born businessman who moved to Texas as a teenager, speaks Arabic, English and French and recently joined the Trump family when their son married the former president. youngest daughter.

Massad Boulos took up the challenge of trying to convince a politically influential community angry to President Joe Biden that Trump is a better option. But many Arab Americans also note that Trump has positioned himself as more pro-Israel than Biden and made a series of comments and policy announcements that critics characterize as Islamophobic.

Trump took a long time family members And their relatives in key roles in his campaigns and in the White House. Boulos, whose son Michael married Tiffany Trump two years ago, is the latest relative to rise into Trump’s political orbit, as he uses his longtime connections to try to shore up support for the presumptive Republican nominee’s 2024 campaign.

Some Trump allies believe they can take advantage of rifts within Biden’s Democratic base over his support for the party. Israeli offensive in Gaza, where more than 37,000 people have died since October 7, according to health officials in the territory controlled by Hamas, who do not give the number of civilians and fighters. Biden faced a important protest vote in Michigan’s February primary, in areas with high numbers of Arab-Americans, who make up a significant Democratic bloc.

“Obviously the No. 1 item that is of high priority within the Arab-American community is the current war in the Middle East,” Boulos said in an interview. “And the question is: who can bring peace and who brings war? And they know the answer to that question.

Several of the people who met with Boulos also highlighted Trump’s statements about Arabs and Muslims. While president, Trump immigration prohibited of several Muslim-majority countries and questioned the the loyalty of Muslim legislators serving in Congress. Now, as he campaigns for a second term after losing in 2020, Trump has sometimes criticized Biden for his lack of support for Israel and has threatened with expulsion He calls pro-Palestinian demonstrators supporters of Hamas.

“I told Massad, ‘It’s not about you being Lebanese and me being Lebanese,'” said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab American News newspaper in Dearborn. “You can’t just buy votes. You have to give something substantial to the community. And Trump hasn’t done it yet.”

A descendant enters American politics

Boulos, of medium height with graying black hair, square glasses and a warm, friendly smile, is often praised for his calm and humility – qualities not always associated with someone who oversees a conglomerate of a billion dollars.

Born in Lebanon, Boulos moved to Texas shortly before attending the University of Houston and earning a doctorate in jurisprudence. Boulos said he actively participated in Republican politics as a student.

After graduating, he…

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