- King Salman of Saudi Arabia is reportedly tightening his grip on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s power as an uncomfortable spotlight falls on the kingdom over Jamal Khashoggi’s mysterious disappearance.
- The king was apparently in the dark about the case at first, but the crown prince eventually asked him to step in.
- The king is reportedly “asserting himself” over the crown prince, who is suspected of orchestrating Khashoggi’s disappearance.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia is reportedly tightening his grip on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s power as an uncomfortable spotlight falls on the kingdom over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s mysterious disappearance.
Sources close to the royal court told Reuters the king was initially in the dark about the case, which was apparently due in part to efforts from the crown prince to shield him from the news.
But as the condemnation of Saudi Arabia spiraled into a foreign policy crisis, the crown prince reportedly asked his ageing father to step in and take the lead. Now, the king is reportedly “asserting himself” over the crown prince as he works to put out the fire.
The 33-year old crown prince was already a controversial figure before this crisis due to his dubious means of consolidating power. At first, he painted himself as a modernizer and reformer, but that image quickly faded as he’s arrested fellow princes and prominent businessmen. He’s worked vigilantly to crackdown on dissent.
Amid the Khashoggi crisis, there have been widespread calls for King Salman to rethink his son’s immense influence in Saudi Arabia and position as heir to the throne.
“Even if he is his favourite son, the king needs to have a comprehensive view for his survival and the survival of the royal family,” a source close to the royal family told Reuters.
Relatedly, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham recently described bin Salman as “toxic” and said he’s “gotta go.”
Lindsey Graham: MBS is a "wrecking ball" who had Khashoggi murdered, he's "toxic" and he's "gotta go."
"This guy is a wrecking ball, he had this guy murdered in a consulate in Turkey, and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused." (via Fox) pic.twitter.com/aUnZQzsdb8
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 16, 2018
“This guy is a wrecking ball, he had this guy murdered in a consulate in Turkey, and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused,” Graham said in a Tuesday appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. The Saudis have denied allegations of killing Khashoggi, but after over two weeks still haven’t provided any proof he safely departed the consulate.
The crown prince, referred to colloquially as MBS, is suspected of orchestrating Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Khashoggi had left Saudi Arabia in the past year over fears for his safety, after the royal court barred him from writing. He became a US resident and wrote columns for The Washington Post.
- Here’s everything we know about the troubling disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
- Trump is placing his trust in someone who is either lying or can’t stop his henchmen from brutally killing journalists
- Top Senate Democrat slams Trump’s response to Khashoggi killing, says president is making US look ‘weaker’ than ever by kowtowing to Saudis
- Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance is an ’embarrassing’ ‘crisis’ for Trump and ‘one of the roughest foreign-policy challenges’ he’s faced yet, experts say
- Missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi had a complicated past involving interviews with Osama bin Laden and close ties to the Saudi royal family
- Lindsey Graham says ‘toxic’ Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had Khashoggi ‘murdered’ and can ‘never be a world leader’
- Trump touts Saudi king’s ‘very strong’ denial and says ‘rogue killers’ could be responsible for Khashoggi disappearance
- Trump officials dodge questions on US support for Saudi Arabia amid Khashoggi crisis
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