The president’s son-in-law has carefully cultivated a close partnership with the heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Jared Kushner has championed as a reformer poised to usher the ultraconservative, oil-rich monarchy into modernity.
But the U.S.-Saudi alliance — and the relationship between Kushner, 37, and Mohammed, 33 — is now imperiled by the unexplained disappearance and alleged gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who had been living in the United States and wrote columns for The Washington Post. The suspected killing has sparked international outcry and calls for tough punishment of Riyadh.
Kushner, however, has already signaled that he has no intention of turning his back on the crown prince, known by the initials MBS. Trump himself has threatened “extreme punishment” even while repeatedly casting doubt on the Saudi regime’s guilt and the effectiveness of tough measures.
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