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White House calls Saudi Arabia important ally after Bezos hack report

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The White House weighed in Thursday on reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was likely behind the hacking of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone.

“Saudi Arabia is obviously an important ally,” Hogan Gidley, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, told reporters.

“I’m aware of the reports … I don’t have any more information than that. Obviously we take this situation seriously,” he said.

On Tuesday, The Guardian reported that an international investigation had concluded that Bezos’ phone was most likely hacked via a video link sent in a May 2018 WhatsApp message from an account belonging to the Saudi Crown Prince. Cybersecurity experts hired by Bezos to investigate how details of his affair were leaked to the media also reported similar findings.

On Wednesday, the United Nations called for an “immediate investigation by US and other relevant authorities” after it published a report concluding with “medium to high confidence” that bin Salman’s WhatsApp account initiated the hack.

Gidley did not say whether the US plans to take up such an investigation.

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