Speed Reads

Jamal Khashoggi

Jared Kushner's 'personal reckoning' with the Saudi crown prince

Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post writer and critic of the monarchy of Saudi Arabia, hasn't been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. Turkish officials believe Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi operatives who then dismembered his body to hide the evidence. In what The Washington Post describes as "another piece of evidence implicating the Saudi regime in Khashoggi’s disappearance," anonymous U.S. intelligence officials told the paper that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman once "ordered an operation to lure" Khashoggi from the U.S., where he's a resident, back to his native country.

While Khashoggi's alleged murder in the midst of a softened U.S.-Saudi relationship may be a "looming diplomatic crisis" for President Trump, it's more of a "personal reckoning" for Jared Kushner, The New York Times writes. The president's son-in-law and senior adviser has had dinner with bin Salman both in Washington and the Saudi capital of Riyadh. He encouraged selling $110 billion of weapons to the Saudi military. And he apparently hoped bin Salman would approve of his forthcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. The crown prince, meanwhile, once reportedly bragged about having Kushner "in his pocket."

But even before Khashoggi was allegedly assassinated, Kushner's relationship with the crown prince had reportedly been fraying. Congress' reluctance to sell the full $110 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia may have already led to a falling out between the two men, the Times says. While Kushner declined to comment to the paper, a person close to him attested to his efforts on behalf of Khashoggi, saying the White House advisor had relayed a letter from the Post publisher to bin Salman and has taken other "unspecified steps."

Read more about Kushner's debacle at The New York Times.