House may probe Kushner's ties with Saudi Crown Prince

House Foreign Affairs Committee plans to conduct thorough review of US policy towards Saudi Arabia.

Ben Ariel,

Saudi Crown Prince, President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner
Saudi Crown Prince, President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner
Reuters

Rep. Eliot Engel, who is poised to lead the House Foreign Affairs Committee, plans to conduct a thorough review of US policy towards Saudi Arabia which could include senior White House adviser Jared Kushner's ties to the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, a Democratic aide told CNN on Monday.

Engel is "committed to conducting a top-to-bottom review of US policy towards Saudi Arabia and that includes what has driven the US response to the Jamal Khashoggi murder," said spokesman Tim Mulvey.

Asked if that meant probing the ties between Kushner and the crown prince, Mulvey replied, "Everything is on the table."

The Turkish government has accused Saudi Arabia of murdering dissident journalist Saudi Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and chopping his body into pieces.

After initially denying Turkish claims that Khashoggi was murdered, Saudi Arabia later admitted that he was killed after entering the consulate in Istanbul. At the same time, the Saudi leadership claimed Khashoggi was killed in a “rogue” operation and denies any connection to the murder.

Recent reports have indicated that the CIA has concluded the Saudi Crown Prince ordered the killing, but the State Department has clarified the government was still working on determining responsibility for the death of Khashoggi.

President Donald Trump has reaffirmed his support for Saudi Arabia, despite the murder of Khashoggi, insisting the US-Saudi Arabian alliance is beneficial not only for American interests, but also for those of Israel.

Some US lawmakers, meanwhile, have called for a strong US response to Khashoggi's murder.

Engel’s spokesman’s follow reports on the weekend that Kushner continued to have private conversations with the Saudi Crown Prince following the murder of Khashoggi.

A Saudi source familiar with the conversations told The New York Times on Saturday that Kushner offered the Crown Prince advice "about how to weather the storm" following the death of Khashoggi.

The report further said that Kushner and bin Salman continued to chat informally after Khashoggi's death despite the fact that White House protocol stipulated that National Security Council staff be present on all phone calls with foreign leaders.




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