Saudi crown prince reportedly bragged he had Jared Kushner 'in his pocket'

Kelvin Reese
March 26, 2018

The Saudi crown prince bragged to the United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and others that he had Kushner "in his pocket", an unnamed source who talks frequently to confidants of the Saudi and Emirati rulers told The Intercept.

And he is behind a major anti-corruption drive targeting the Saudi elite, which critics say also removes domestic rivals.

The crown prince could dangle a huge carrot in front of Trump for his support. Saudi Arabia, a decades-long United States ally, felt neglected by President Barack Obama's pursuit of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Riyadh's regional rival.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has held a meeting with US President Donald Trump during his first visit to the White House and discussed matters of security cooperation.

Coming mid-way through the Crown Prince's two week tour of the USA, the vote could deliver an "embarrassing rebuke" to the 32-year old heir to the throne as he meets President Donald Trump and other U.S. leaders, says Time.

"Iran has not been treating that part of the world, or the world itself, appropriately", Trump said. Mattis said the U.S is working with the U.N.'s new envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths of Britain, in pursuit of a political solution to the civil war, which has killed more than 10,000 civilians since it started in March 2015.

USA concerns were raised after a host of Gulf nations, including Saudi Arabia, cut ties with Qatar previous year, and accused leaders in the country of backing terrorist organizations.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. Some tremendous things have happened for you since your last visit to the White House, when you were - when you were the Crown Prince, and now you're beyond the Crown Prince.

Trump won't hire lawyers diGenova, Toensing
A former federal prosecutor, Joseph DiGenova, and his wife, Victoria Toensing, agreed last week to help represent the US leader. Recent reports indicate that former Solicitor General Ted Olson turned down the chance to represent Trump.

Trump was non-committal on the future of the Iranian nuclear deal.

Even at this nadir of US-Saudi relations, President Obama still sanctioned an unprecedented $115bn worth of weapons to the kingdom over his eight years in office.

Asked whether he was prepared to pull the United States out of the deal, Trump said "we're going to see what happens".

The prince was also due to have dinner with Jared Kushner, Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, along with Jason Greenblatt, the two point men in the Trump administration overseeing Middle East peace efforts.

During three weeks in the US, the 32-year-old crown prince will also meet with businessmen in NY, tech mavens in San Francisco and entertainment bigwigs in Los Angeles.

Since Trump took office previous year and visited Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip, Riyadh and Washington have strengthened ties and sought to work together on mutual goals involving Iran, such as curbing its rising influence in the Mideast.

Trump, one official said, will push MBS for leadership in the Gulf Region on regional disagreements over Qatar and stress the need for unity in what he believes could have a deeply negative long-term impact on the Gulf region.

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