How Bromance Developed Between Jared Kushner And Sauds’ Crown Prince MBS

Khaled al-Falih was part of a team of top aides to the crown prince who met with Mr. Kushner in New York in November 2016.CreditTasneem Alsultan for The New York Times

It has become obvious that the republican President Donald Trump has been covering for Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) over the murder by dismemberment that he had ordered against a US resident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi as he was lured into a Saudi embassy in Turkey in October 2018.

President Trump could be covering for the crown prince by giving him deniability, not just for financial reasons but because of his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner’s having developed a closeness to him even as the crown prince was known to have been bragging to others that he has Mr. Kushner in his pocket. It has been Jared Kushner who has pushed the president and his administration into their aligning their stars with MBS.

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Here is the rest of the story…

On December 8, 2018, David D. Kirkpatrick, Ben Hubbard, Mark Landler and Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times penned the following report,  “The Wooing of Jared Kushner: How the Saudis Got a Friend in the White House”

Excerpts:

“Senior American officials were worried. Since the early months of the Trump administration, Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser, had been having private, informal conversations with Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the favorite son of Saudi Arabia’s king.”

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“Given Mr. Kushner’s political inexperience, the private exchanges could make him susceptible to Saudi manipulation, said three former senior American officials. In an effort to tighten practices at the White House, a new chief of staff tried to reimpose longstanding procedures stipulating that National Security Council staff members should participate in all calls with foreign leaders.”

“But even with the restrictions in place, Mr. Kushner, 37, and Prince Mohammed, 33, kept chatting, according to three former White House officials and two others briefed by the Saudi royal court. In fact, they said, the two men were on a first-name basis, calling each other Jared and Mohammed in text messages and phone calls.”

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“The exchanges continued even after the Oct. 2 killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist who was ambushed and dismembered by Saudi agents, according to two former senior American officials and the two people briefed by the Saudis.”

“As the killing set off a firestorm around the world and American intelligence agencies concluded that it was ordered by Prince Mohammed, Mr. Kushner became the prince’s most important defender inside the White House, people familiar with its internal deliberations say.”

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“Mr. Kushner’s support for Prince Mohammed in the moment of crisis is a striking demonstration of a singular bond that has helped draw President Trump into an embrace of Saudi Arabia as one of his most important international allies.”

“But the ties between Mr. Kushner and Prince Mohammed did not happen on their own. The prince and his advisers, eager to enlist American support for his hawkish policies in the region and for his own consolidation of power, cultivated the relationship with Mr. Kushner for more than two years, according to documents, emails and text messages reviewed by The New York Times.”

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“A delegation of Saudis close to the prince visited the United States as early as the month Mr. Trump was elected, the documents show, and brought back a report identifying Mr. Kushner as a crucial focal point in the courtship of the new administration. He brought to the job scant knowledge about the region, a transactional mind-set and an intense focus on reaching a deal with the Palestinians that met Israel’s demands, the delegation noted.”

“Even then, before the inauguration, the Saudis were trying to position themselves as essential allies who could help the Trump administration fulfill its campaign pledges. In addition to offering to help resolve the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, the Saudis offered hundreds of billions of dollars in deals to buy American weapons and invest in American infrastructure. Mr. Trump later announced versions of some of these items with great fanfare when he made his first foreign trip: to an Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. The Saudis had extended that invitation during the delegation’s November 2016 visit.”

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“The inner circle is predominantly deal makers who lack familiarity with political customs and deep institutions, and they support Jared Kushner,” the Saudi delegation wrote of the incoming administration in a slide presentation obtained by the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar, which provided it to The Times. Several Americans who spoke with the delegation confirmed the slide presentation’s accounts of the discussions.

“The courtship of Mr. Kushner appears to have worked.”

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“Only a few months after Mr. Trump moved into the White House, Mr. Kushner was inquiring about the Saudi royal succession process and whether the United States could influence it, raising fears among senior officials that he sought to help Prince Mohammed, who was not yet the crown prince, vault ahead in the line for the throne, two former senior White House officials said. American diplomats and intelligence officials feared that the Trump administration might be seen as playing favorites in the delicate internal politics of the Saudi royal family, the officials said.”

“By March, Mr. Kushner helped usher Prince Mohammed into a formal lunch with Mr. Trump in a state dining room at the White House, capitalizing on a last minute cancellation by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany because of a snowstorm.”

In March 2017, Mr. Kushner helped usher the crown prince into a formal lunch with Mr. Trump at the White House.CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times

“Bending protocol, Mr. Kushner arranged for Prince Mohammed, often referred to by his initials as M.B.S., to receive the kind of treatment usually reserved for heads of state, with photographs and news media coverage, according to a person involved in the arrangements. It appears to have been the first face-to-face meeting between Mr. Kushner and the prince, but Mr. Kushner raised eyebrows by telling others in the White House that he and Prince Mohammed had already spoken several times before, two people at the event recalled.”

“In a statement, a White House spokesman said that “Jared has always meticulously followed protocols and guidelines regarding the relationship with MBS and all of the other foreign officials with whom he interacts.”

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“The relationship between Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman constitutes the foundation of the Trump policy not just toward Saudi Arabia but toward the region,” said Martin Indyk, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Middle East envoy. The administration’s reliance on the Saudis in the peace process, its support for the kingdom’s feud with Qatar, an American ally, and its backing of the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, he said, all grew out of “that bromance.”

Link: NYT lengthy report

6 comments

  1. Dear Gronda, I hope you are well. I know it is impertinent for an outsider like me to comment upon the current situation in the USA. I have analysed hundreds of hours of media, everything (except fox). it perplexes me as to the complexity in America to ‘out’ the criminals, but have difficulty to deliver justice, swiftly and with the dignity that justice implies within your system. Is every person with a degree in the USA a lawyer?. You know what friend, I would rather see your style and perspicacity on the airwaves than all the same old same old, for they are part of the problem of desensitizing by the perseverance of blah blah. It seems it is difficult to keep it simple, and yet so many persons, bless them are simple. The ordinary person (voter) is not a white college educated smart arse with a pernicious potential agenda. Pine Gap word is that the clown is going down. Chinese submarines in international waters off Hawaii. Do you know about the North Korean stuff, or that the straits of Hormuz are in jeopardy, and that the USA Saudi problem goes back to GHW Bush. You guys are in there up to your neck and with a clown in the white house, I hope that turns out well for y’all. HUGS mate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Gary J.,

      One of the few blessings that have been forthcoming from the reign of President Trump is that many average Americans are paying more attention to the growing tentacles of China and the alliances of despotic ruled countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, N Korea.

      Thee was a time when many Americans including me would have celebrated the news of US troops withdrawing from Afghanistan and Syria but not that news is tempered with the knowledge that President Trump is not acting in the US national security interests.

      Russia will rue the day it forced the president’s hand on this issue.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

  2. Gronda, it goes back to making money off the Presidency, including the family members around him. We must not lose sight of the fact Kushner was looking for money to pay off a $1.2 billion balloon payment on a load earlier this year. The CIA and members of the Senate Foreign Relations committee were concerned that Kushner could be influenced. When I see the picture of Kushner and MbS walking, the grin and body language of MbS says to me “here is my American stooge that will get what I want from his father-in-law.” Keith

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Forgive me if this is offensive, Gronda. My (slightly) dirty mind jumped to the forefront when I saw the above picture of Ivanka, Jared, and Melania (with hands on their hearts).

    Look at the guy standing (closely) behind Melania and tell me what you see. Also notice where his eyes seem to be focused.

    (Oh my. I think all the political stuff is getting to me!)

    Liked by 2 people

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