US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner recently offered Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman advice on how to cope with the fallout from the murder of a prominent Saudi journalist.
Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2. At first, the Saudis denied anything had happened to him. But as the facts began to come out, the country’s official stance was that he was accidentally killed by agents who were trying to take him home.
A well-known critic of the Saudi government, Khashoggi was a resident of the US, where he worked as a writer for The Washington Post.
Trump said he was not sure if the prince had ordered the killing and there was no evidence that made it absolutely certain that he did. The American leader also made it clear that he was not interested in punishing the Saudis for the murder, because the wealthy nation had a lot of business ties with the US.
Trump’s moves infuriated lawmakers who demanded more information.
Among the information available to them was a recording of the murder, in which Khashoggi can be heard gasping and screaming after telling his captors that he could not breathe. His body was allegedly cut up and has still not been found.
US lawmakers are working on a plan to punish the crown prince, but there are calls to make the investigation into the journalist’s death “international”. After hearing evidence from the CIA – the US spy agency – senators said there was no doubt that MBS, as the prince is known, was involved in the killing.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser, has been the prince’s biggest cheerleader in the White House, coaching him on how to deal with the backlash from Khashoggi’s murder.