Jared Kushner, the most powerful son-in-law in the United States, is back in the news, this time with an embarrassing New York Times report that describes Kushner as texting buddies with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
According to the report, Kushner has been texting the up-and-coming prince on a first name basis and he’s been advising MBS on how to overcome the backlash that ensued after the killing of a Washington Post journalist at the hands of the Saudis.
But what’s more eye-opening are the reported deliberate attempts by the Saudis to court Kushner as a friendly voice in the White House. The Times cites a Saudi report identifying Kushner as their ideal ally in Washington, but you hardly need to be well-sourced in international secret-keepers to see the Saudis have been playing their cards wisely with the Trump administration.
Mostly, those cards have been massive paydays that benefit the Trump family or the administration. After the 2016 election, a lobbyist bankrolled by the Saudis bought up 500 rooms over a period of three months, per a Washington Post report. And then, of course, there was the massive arms deal that the Trump Administration inked with the Saudis.
And it worked, President Trump’s first official foreign trip included a stop in Saudi Arabia where they showered him with gifts that included robes and swords. And it was Kushner who first invited Mohammed bin Salman to dine at the White House in early 2017 — only months after Trump was inaugurated.
But the most striking example of the Saudi’s courting of Kushner and Trump was the White House’s response to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In an outrageous statement, the White House announced that they were giving the Saudis a pass on the murder and even echoed the nation’s talking points, referring to Khashoggi as an “enemy of the state.”