Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman allegedly bragged to the Emirati crown prince and others that U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner was “in his pocket,” according to a report in The Intercept.
The Intercept reported that after Kushner's unannounced trip to Riyadh in October, in which they reportedly stayed up until 4 A.M. planning strategy, the "Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had discussed the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince, according to three sources who have been in contact with members of the Saudi and Emirati royal families since the crackdown." Kushner, through his attorney’s spokesperson, denies having done so.
A week following Kushner's secret trip to Saudi Arabia, as part of Trump's special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the crown prince launched the "Saudi Purge" against the kingdom's political and business elite under the guise of anti-corruption efforts.
During the purge, the Saudi government detained dozens of members of the Saudi royal family and held them in the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh.
According to The Intercept, a U.S. government official, who declined to be identified, pointed out that "it is likely that Crown Prince Mohammed would have known who his critics were without Kushner mentioning them," adding that the prince "may also have had his own reasons for saying that Kushner shared information with him, even if that wasn’t true.
"Just the appearance that Kushner did so would send a powerful message to the crown prince’s allies and enemies that his actions were backed by the U.S. government."
In February, Kushner, who serves as Trump's senior advisor and is leading the White House Mideast peace plan, lost access to top-secret U.S. Government intelligence, as a result of his difficulties in acquiring a long-term security clearance from the intelligence community.
Senior U.S. government officials have raised concerns that foreign officials might try to influence Kushner through business deals with his family’s real estate empire.
According to ABC News, Qatari officials have evidence of "illicit influence" by the UAE on Kushner. However, the report added that the UAE has decided not to give the information to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Kusher has already been questioned by Mueller's team as part of his Russia collusion probe.
Kushner has a close relationship with the Saudi and Emirati crown princes. "Kushner has communicated with them directly using WhatsApp, according to a senior Western official and a source close to the Saudi royal family," The Intercept added.
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