Saudi crown prince denies having Jared Kushner ‘in his pocket’


Jared Kushner alongside a member of the Saudi Delegation during a meeting between President Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office of the White House, March 20, 2018. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denied reports that he has White House adviser Jared Kushner “in his pocket,” during a meeting with Washington Post editors and reporters.

Mohammed also denied the report that first appeared last week in The Intercept that he received from Kushner the names of Saudi figures identified in a daily classified brief read by the president and his closest advisers hat were considered disloyal to the crown prince and who he arrested and jailed during what he called an “anti-corruption crackdown.” The arrests came shortly after a meeting the crown prince had with Kushner, who read the report until he lost his top-secret security clearance in February,  in late October in Riyadh.

Mohammed met with the Post on the last day of a four-day visit to Washington.

“We work together as friends, more than partners,” Mohammed said of his relationship with Kushner, calling it within the normal context of government-to-government contacts, according to the newspaper.

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He said the arrests, of dozens of people, mostly members of the Saudi royal family, had been in the planning stages for years.

Mohammed said the close relationship between him and Kushner described in The Intercept, which interviewed unnamed U.S. government officials and close confidants of the crown prince, “will not help us” and does not exist, the Post reported.

He met on Tuesday with President Donald Trump, who is Kushner’s father in law. He also met during his visit to Washington with Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to discuss the Trump administration’s peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians, which has not yet been announced.

The White House will need Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to help persuade the Palestinians to accept the plan.

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