While publicly praising his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, for doing a “very god job,” while downplaying Kushner’s relationship with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, in private Donald Trump blames Kushner for the political crisis now engulfing his administration over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.
Kushner has been the prime mover in establishing Trump’s close relationship with the Saudi government under bin Salman. He reportedly told his father-in-law that the kingdom was undergoing a power shift last year, and that bin Salman should receive Trump’s backing — rather than another crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, who was expected by the CIA and State Department to claim leadership of the country, according to a Guardian report.
During an unannounced visit to the Saudi capital of Riyadh in October of last year, Kushner and bin Salman stayed up late into the night on several occasions plotting political strategy, according to a report by The Intercept, which also reported that Kushner passed the new Saudi ruler a list of Saudi citizens who opposed him. The White House has denied the report, but within a week after Kushner’s return to the U.S., bin Salman jailed numerous members of the royal family on “corruption” charges — including some allegedly on the list handed over by Kushner.
Following Khashoggi’s murder and the international outcry that followed, Kushner urged Trump to stand by bin Salman, according to a New York Times report, assuring Trump that the crisis would simply blow over.
Instead, with mounting revelations about the reported brutality of Khashoggi’s torture-killing by Saudi assassins, as reported by Inquisitr, and the Saudi’s own admission that Khashoggi was indeed killed inside Turkey’s consulate, the crisis has only intensified — and Kushner himself is now “terrified” about the fallout from the murder, according to a Financial Times report.
His father-in-law is pointing the finger at him for mishandling the administration’s relationship with bin Salman, according to the Washington Post report, which said that Trump has “privately grimaced that his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s close relationship with the crown prince has become a liability and left the White House with no good options.”
Trump has now “sidelined” Kushner from involvement with the Khashoggi crisis, the paper reported.
“Trump is annoyed by a sense that he was blindsided and by what he sees as Kushner’s misjudgment,” according to the reporting by John Hudson, Josh Dawsey and Anne Gearan of the Washington Post.