Scranton dentist Dr. Albert Hazzouri loves dropping the name of his friend, President Donald Trump, in the course of doing business.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Hazzouri tried to get the federal government to buy coronavirus test kits from his associates. Hazzouri mentioned his Trump connection when he encountered resistance, the newspaper reported.
Two years ago, Hazzouri alluded to his Trump friendship as he sought a Florida dental license before state regulators.
Repeated efforts to reach Hazzouri on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Citing unnamed sources involved with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s operations, The New York Times reported Hazzouri repeatedly called FEMA officials and a separate team of Trump administration volunteers working on procurement. He wanted to help facilitate the purchase of about 100,000 kits from Mexico.
Hazzouri, 64, also mentioned his friendship with Trump while trying to obtain a license to practice in Florida.
During a May 2018 dental board meeting, Hazzouri said he frequently visits Florida and Trump wanted him to be able to treat the president, his family and guests.
“I’m personal friends, we talk often, I’ll be seeing him next week. He knows I’m here today,” Hazzouri told the dental board, according to a meeting recording available online.
Hazzouri, who specializes in cosmetic dentistry, also told the dental board he wanted to open a practice that also served veterans, Native Americans, pregnant women, children and the less fortunate.
“I didn’t go down there and say ‘change the rules for me,’ ” Hazzouri told a Times-Tribune reporter in May 2018.
A letter to the Florida dental board identified Hazzouri as Trump’s dentist. In an interview with The Times-Tribune, Hazzouri acknowledged he wasn’t the president’s dentist and faulted his staff for mistakenly sending the letter identifying him that way.
The dental board told him he had not taken a required state dental board exam and never provided proof of his dental education and knowledge of CPR.
Hazzouri withdrew his application for the Florida license, and does not have one, online state records show.
Trump and Hazzouri’s friendship pre-dates Trump’s election.
The dentist, his wife, Lauren, and their daughter attended a New Year’s Eve 2015 gala at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. On her Facebook page, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, has highlighted the work of Lauren Hazzouri, a licensed psychologist.
As he ran for president, Trump mentioned his relationship with Hazzouri during a July 27, 2016, rally at Lackawanna College. He noted he knew some of the people present and called out for his friend.
“Stand up, Albert; where the hell are you, Albert? Stand up, Albert,” Mr. Trump shouted.
Hazzouri stood up and waved.
“He’s a good golfer, but I’m actually a better golfer than him, right?” Mr. Trump said.
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