Donald Trump buys yacht from Saudi arms smuggler Adnan Khashoggi

The Trump Timeline

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Sometime in 1987, Donald Trump buys a “surveillance yacht” from Saudi arms smuggler Adnan Khashoggi for $30 million. When Khashoggi bought it in 1980, it was the largest private yacht in the world.

By 1980, he could afford Nabila, named after his daughter, 281ft (86.6 metres) long, the largest private yacht in the world at the time, on which it is said Khashoggi “lavished money with utter abandon”: sundeck with bullet-proof glass, solid gold sink in the master suite.

They didn’t just use any old onyx in the bathrooms of the chamois leather-lined cabins. It was hand carved onyx, sculpted by “the finest craftsman from the hills of Italy,” as described by the next owner, Donald Trump, who in 1987 bought her for nearly $30m.


Donald Trump renames the yacht Trump Princess. He sells it to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal in 1991 during his financial downfall.

A yacht owned by Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, the Lady Ghislaine, was also purchased from the Khashoggi family.

At the time of this writing in 2021, news is developing that Trump administration members attended and covered up meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in the weeks following the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, Adnan’s nephew. MBS is believed to have ordered his murder.

External Sources

Independent (Archived)

Mark Evans, photojournalist

NPR (Archived)


Photo: Smith Aerial Photography via Boat International

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