- President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, gave the Saudi crown prince a pass on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in an interview.
- Speaking to Sean Hannity, Kushner avoided naming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and downplayed reports that US intelligence believes he ordered Khashoggi’s death.
- Kushner is reportedly close to the crown prince and allegedly advised him on how to “weather the storm” after Khashoggi’s death.
Jared Kushner let the Saudi crown prince off the hook on Jamal Khashoggi’s killing in a softball interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday night.
When asked about the “status” of the White House’s view on the death of Khashoggi, who was killed inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October, Kushner largely dodged the question.
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser said: “I think that our intelligence agencies are making their assessments and we’re hoping to make sure that there’s justice brought to where that should be.”
The CIA has reportedly already concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the death of Khashoggi, who was often critical of the royal family.
Kushner on Monday also appeared to suggest that the White House was no longer concerned with the murder.
He said: “We’re focused now on the broader region, which is figuring out how to hopefully bring a deal together between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
Khashoggi died at the hands of more than a dozen Saudi agents at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Transcript of an audio recording from Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal death reportedly describes him gasping for air in his final moments.
Riyadh has repeatedly tried to distance the crown prince from the incident, despite increasing evidence directly linking him to it. The kingdom has repeatedly shifted their narrative of events.
Here’s the relevant exchange between Hannity and Kushner. Neither mentions the crown prince by name.
Hannity: You’ve been to Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia. You have talked to all these people. It seems like there’s a moment where there is a new alliance or coalition emerging against hegemony and a potentially nuclear-armed Iran.
Has that process been hurt as a result of the Khashoggi killing, what is the status – I know 17 individuals are being held responsible – and do you think that we’ll get to the bottom of it if we haven’t already?
Kushner: I think that our intelligence agencies are making their assessments and we’re hoping to make sure that there’s justice brought to where that should be.
We’re focused now on the broader region which is figuring out how to hopefully bring a deal together between the Israelis and the Palestinians. That conflict has gone on for way too long.
Kushner then continued to discuss US plans for Israeli-Palestinian peace for the rest of the interview. Hannity did not pose any further questions.
Kushner and the crown prince are reportedly close
Kushner reportedly developed a close relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed over the past two years, and continued to be in contact even after the Khashoggi killing, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
Trump’s son-in-law also advised the crown prince on how to “weather the storm,” and urged him to “resolve his conflicts around the region and avoid further embarrassments,” The Times reported.
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