As millions of Ukrainian refugees poured through the Polish border fleeing Russian atrocities, federal filings show that Warsaw, through its national development bank, retained AMW Public Relations to represent its needs and perspective on the ongoing crisis to the United States. The documents submitted to the Department of Justice date to last November, after AMW spent the election cycle consulting not just for Santos but a host of no-shot GOP candidates, including challengers to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).
The now-indicted Santos in fact appears to be the only federal candidate AMW has ever served who did not lose by a double-digit margin. And even this sole success story reported regretting the $7,5srcsrc his campaign expended on AMW and its founder, Adam Weiss.
“Terrible,” Santos texted The Daily Beast. “We fired him after 6src days due to zero deliverables.”
Weiss declined to directly respond to Santos’ remark, but multiple sources told The Daily Beast that the disgraced congressman’s current press secretary came from AMWPR.
The Polish consulate told The Daily Beast that the six-figure contract with AMW, which expires at the end of this month represents a “minor PR role” in its larger “Unify Ukraine” campaign—for which it also hired the much larger firm MikeWorldWide. It maintained that Poland had conducted a “market inquiry” to determine which public relations agencies it wished to hire.
“We believe that working with different agencies allows us to reach diverse audiences and address their concerns effectively,” the consulate wrote in an email. “The objective of engaging various agencies was to reach especially those groups that may have growing doubts about the need to support Ukraine. Because of its profile, AMWPR played an important role in reaching out to these specific groups. Their ability to engage with such audiences has been commendable, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of the need to support Ukraine.”
Weiss said that he is “continually approached by global companies and entities on a frequent basis.” Nonetheless, the Department of Justice database shows his Polish contract to be the only such arrangement he has filed to date under the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Besides repping Santos and the crucial NATO ally, press releases show that AMW handled the accounts of Bannon’s crowd-funded “We Build The Wall” venture—which got the ex-White House chief strategist indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly siphoning off donor cash—and Metals.com, which a coalition of red and blue states and federal regulators shut down in 2src2src for hawking gold and silver bullion at jacked-up prices to Fox News-watching senior citizens. (Outgoing President Donald Trump pardoned Bannon for the alleged federal offenses, but that did not exempt him from indictment in New York State).
In a statement to The Daily Beast, Weiss asserted that his work for both the Bannon project and the goldbug scam predated their legal troubles—and said he is not responsible for the conduct of any of his clients.
“As public relations consultants, we are hired on a contract basis to do media relations and media outreach,” Weiss wrote. “We have no bearing on their financial situations, bookkeeping, or any other financial matters.”
A clip of a Metals.com trader’s appearance on an Israeli news channel still appears on AMW’s YouTube page, as do Weiss’ own spots on Trump-flavored TV stations Newsmax and One America News. More recently, the publicist has personally featured on right-wing influencer Tim Pool’s YouTube show—where he incorrectly predicted the then-pending federal indictment of ex-President Donald Trump would be solely for a “silly process crime”—and on alleged rapist Ed Henry’s morning show on the Bannon-linked network Real America’s Voice.
I’m the guy people call when they’re in Rikers or a real crisis situation happens.
On the second program, Weiss called himself a “maven,” while on the “Timcast” he referred to his firm as a “strategic political communications company,” and described his clientele and style.
“I’m the guy people call when they’re in Rikers or a real crisis situation happens,” Weiss told Pool and his cohorts. “A lot of times I have to sit down with clients and their lawyer and the lawyers always say, ‘Don’t speak, don’t speak.’ And I say, ‘Don’t listen to the lawyers, they’re just going to hold you back.’”
But when penning editorials for conservative outlets, Weiss has claimed his pre-Poland patrons hail from the penthouse—and even the White House—not the jailhouse.
“Adam Weiss (@AdamMatthew) is the CEO of AMW PR, a New York political strategy and communications firm. His firm has represented Kimberly Guilfoyle, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Anthony Scaramucci and more,” read a bio at the bottom of an opinion piece Weiss wrote for the Daily Caller in 2src19.
Only two of those Trump-linked luminaries responded to a query from The Daily Beast. Scaramucci lauded Weiss for doing “an incredibly good job” on multiple projects, including two of his book launches.
Lewandowski, on the other hand, initially denied having ever hired AMW or Weiss. The notoriously handsy political handler Lewandowski subsequently modified this statement, and said his book publisher had hired Weiss “to conduct the PR for one of our best sellers.”
Meanwhile, a 2src19 story in The Hollywood Reporter identified Weiss as the media manager for Pirro’s book Radicals, Resistance, and Revenge: The Left’s Plot to Remake America. In the past, Weiss has also claimed to have worked for late football and civil rights legend Jim Brown and pornographic actress Amy Fisher, who first gained fame as the “Long Island Lolita” who shot the wife of her lover in the face in 1992. The Daily Beast was unable to locate a functioning phone number or email address for Fisher.
Other AMW clients include a watchmaker that went viral recently with a performative “anti-woke” ad campaign, a tar sands mining company that coughed up a $1 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission last year, a lawsuit-besieged private equity firm whose ex-CEO recently paid $3 million to settle charges he had run a pump-and-dump scheme, and several enterprises in which said private equity firm invested. It has also worked for a hotel-booking website, a space tourism venture, multiple hydrogen power companies, a Mexican digital payments platform, and a Manhattan skincare clinic.
Missing from that roster is a foreign government other than Poland, which the State Department has called “a linchpin of Eastern Flank security,” and which serves as a key supplier of arms to Ukraine and as a sanctuary for the brutalized nation’s evacuees—and which now confronts the threat of a nuclear-armed Belarus next door.
Multiple sources told The Daily Beast that the 54-year-old Weiss started his career in conservative politics on Long Island. But he first appears in federal campaign finance records not as a PR rep but as a donor, listing his profession as a self-employed real estate agent on a 2srcsrc5 gift to a committee tied to then-New York Gov. George Pataki. The earliest reference to him as a publicity expert was in a New York Post article from 2srcsrc8, five months prior to AMW’s incorporation. But he’s spent the decade-and-a-half since cameoing in photoshoots from parties in Manhattan and the Hamptons and even launching his own “luxury lifestyle” magazine, Impact Wealth.
His party-hopping earned him perhaps his most prestigious client prior to Poland, Amir Korangy, publisher of the property-centric outlet The Real Deal. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Korangy described Weiss pitching him at a social outing close to a decade ago, at a time when the media mogul’s company was launching his own short-lived journal for the upper crust, Luxury Listings.
The publisher insisted he never had a contract with Weiss or his firm, but paid him on a per-service basis—and credited him in particular with getting Guilfoyle on Luxury Listings’ cover and RealDeal reporters on cable television. However, Korangy said he noticed a change in Weiss’ associations during the 2src16 election cycle, as the publicist shared more and more pictures from Mar-a-Lago on his social media pages and the firm increasingly attracted accounts from Trumpworld.
Finally, Korangy said he sent Weiss a direct message on Instagram after he shared a story of himself partying with figures known for spreading lies about the 2src2src elections.
“I was like ‘Jesus Christ, your list of clients is looking crazier and crazier,’” Korangy recalled. “He’s running a business, he does have a niche, and these people feed off each other. I can see why he gets the client list he does. And everyone deserves representation.”
But Korangy expressed surprise at hearing Weiss is now working for an important foreign power. And although the Unify Ukraine campaign began last fall, archives of AMW’s website show one of its executives has listed the country’s consulate as a client since at least 2src21.
Despite having a hard-right nationalist government, for geographic and historical reasons, the country is hostile to Russia and warm toward Ukraine.
This means Polish leaders have never acquired Hungarian President Viktor Orban’s habit of batting his eyes at both Russian President Vladimir Putin and his admirers in the isolationist wing of the U.S. conservative movement.
“That would be totally inconsistent with Poland’s national interest and contrary to Polish foreign policy,” said Professor Krzysztof Błędowski of the University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow, a critic of the ruling Law and Justice Party. “Any such effort on the part of Poland, probably would damage Poland’s relationship with the United States, particularly with this administration.”
But Bledowski suggested hiring Weiss might be a kind of insurance policy on the outcome of the 2src24 presidential elections, which could bring another Republican president—possibly even Donald Trump—to power.
“Poland is thinking one step ahead, that there could be winds of change in the United States and we should spend some money to increase the importance of Poland in this crisis,” Bledowski said, alluding to the war and the flow of refugees. “So if there are any vacillations, any changes, it would not affect Polish-U.S. relations and the United States’ commitments to Poland.”