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Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman didn’t get Khashoggi outrage: report

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khashoggi mbs
A
composite image of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Associated Press/Virginia Mayo; Nicolas Asfouri –
Pool/Getty


  • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is
    suspected of being behind the death
    of journalist Jamal
    Khashoggi
    .
  • The kingdom has denied this, and its latest account of
    Khashoggi’s death
    says the

     killers
    went behind the prince’s back
    .
  • The crown prince was shocked to see Khashoggi’s
    disappearance provoked such international outrage, and asked
    Jared Kushner why it was happening, The Wall Street Journal
    reported.
  • Crown Prince Mohammed also grew angry that Khashoggi’s
    disappearance turned into such a big diplomatic crisis, the
    Journal reported.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, the man
suspected of ordering the death of Jamal Khashoggi
, could not
understand why the journalist’s disappearance was such a big
deal,
The Wall Street Journal reported
.

Mohammed bin Salman was shocked to see Khashoggi’s disappearance
in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul provoke such international
outrage, and called Jard Kushner to ask why, the paper said.

The Journal said Prince Mohammed became angry that it turned into
a diplomatic crisis, citing unnamed people who recently
interacted with the prince.


Business leaders and politicians
, from US Treasury Secretary
to The New York Times, have are now shunning Saudi Arabia, and
many pulled out of a major conference in Riyadh scheduled to take
place on Tuesday.

On October 10 — eight days after Khashoggi’s disappearance —
Prince Mohammed called Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and Middle
East adviser, the Journal said.

Prince Mohammed asked in English what the outrage was about, the
report said, citing two people who were briefed on the
conversation.


jared kushner trump mbs saudi arabia
From
left to right: Saudi Crown Prince (then-Defense Minister)
Mohammed bin Salman, Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, and
then-economic advisor Gary Cohn at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in
Riyadh in May 2017.

Jonathan
Ernst/Reuters


Kushner and John Bolton, the US national security advisor,
reportedly told the prince in response that he had to solve the
crisis quickly.

Kushner is close to Prince Mohammed and —
according to CNN
— texts him directly sometimes on WhatsApp.
He has not taken a public role in the US response to the
Khashoggi crisis, but has
reportedly advised Trump to stand by Saudi Arabia until the
episode blows over
.


Part of the reason why the Khashoggi episode turned into a major
diplomatic crisis
was the sheer depravity of the reports of
his killing, which included leaks that agents brought a bone saw
into the Saudi consulate and dismembered the 59-year-old
journalist.

Khashoggi, a contributor for The Washington Post, also had
powerful friends in Washington.


jamal khashoggi
Jamal
Khashoggi speaking at an event hosted by Middle East Monitor in
London in September 29, 2018.

Middle
East Monitor via Reuters


The Saudi royal family — which runs the country — was also
initially “relaxed” about Khashoggi’s disappearance when reports
emerged, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a source close
to the royal household.

“Then it snowballed,” the source said. “When things started
heating up in the States, everybody started getting worried.”

The Trump administration appeared reluctant to hold the Saudi
leadership responsible for weeks after Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The president has continued to
tout billions of dollars of arms contracts
struck between
Washington and Riyadh, which he has repeatedly claimed could
create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US.

After Saudi Arabia admitted to Khashoggi’s death, Trump told

The Washington Post
that “obviously there’s been deception,
and there’s been lies” in the Saudi explanation of the
disappearance and death.

But the president said: “I would love if he wasn’t responsible,”
referring to Prince Mohammed.

However, many of the 15 men identified in Turkish media as the
suspects behind Khashoggi’s killing
have been seen in the crown prince’s entourage
.


Donald Trump Mohammed bin Salman
President
Donald Trump shows a chart highlighting arms sales to Saudi
Arabia during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, March 20,
2018, in Washington.

AP Photo/Evan
Vucci



Riyadh admitted to Khashoggi’s death on Friday night
— 17
days after it happened — but claimed that “a quarrel and a
physical confrontation” led to the death. Saudi officials,
including Prince Mohammed, previously claimed that Khashoggi left
the consulate and denied knowing his whereabouts.

The kingdom appears keen to distance the crown prince from the
entire matter. Shortly after it admitted to Khashoggi’s death,
Saudi Arabia detained 18 suspects and dismissed a high-ranking
general — likely an attempt to portray the killing as a rogue
operation, rather than one sanctioned by the upper echelons of
the Saudi government.

The Saudi foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir has claimed Prince
Mohammed, as well as senior intelligence officers,
“was not aware of” Khashoggi’s disappearance and death
.

Jubeir told Fox News on Saturday: “This was an operation that was
a rogue operation. This was an operation where individuals ended
up exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had. They
made a mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate,
and they tried to cover up for it.”

Prince Mohammed has also been given powers to restructure the
country’s intelligence services, the state-run Saudi Press Agency
reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
promised that he will reveal the “naked truth”
about
Khashoggi’s death on Tuesday.

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