When Jared Met MBS
For the past two years, White House advisor Jared Kushner and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman have been entwined in an intimate affair of the foreign policy mind.
Texting and calling, the two are on a first name basis. Reportedly, the Saudi prince prefers to use WhatsApp for their feverish communications.
Over the weekend, the New York Times dropped a stink bomb on the White House administration’s alliance with Saudi Arabia. In a piece headlined “The Wooing of Jared Kushner: How the Saudis Got a Friend in the White House”, the Grey Lady exposed what one analyst described as a “bromance” between the two wealthy heirs.
Official Washington and the president’s opponents are in an uproar. Likely incoming Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Congressman Eliot Engel promises to “conduct a complete review of US policy toward Saudi Arabia, including the Administration’s response to the Khashoggi killing.”
The Times cites numerous anonymous sources, including vaguely identified “former senior American officials” which could describe any high ranking former official from any former administration in any agency or branch of government.
These anonymous experts are gravely concerned that “given Mr. Kushner’s political inexperience,” (similar to many newly elected American presidents when it comes to foreign policy) “the private exchanges could make him susceptible to Saudi manipulation.”
Critics have seized on the revelation that Kushner offered advice to his desert brother of another mother “about how to weather the storm” (the Times words, not Kushner’s) following the gruesome assassination of Saudi writer, Jamal Khashoggi.
Expect lengthy hearings into the matter when the new Democrat-led House of Representatives is sworn in next year. They promise, “Everything is on the table.”