• Kushner retreating from Middle East front amid Khashoggi crisis: Sources

US President Donald Trump’s son-in law and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are communicating through Whatsapp amid the crisis arising over the mysterious disappearance of a dissident journalist at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Jared Kushner, who has been appointed by his father-in-law to handle the Middle East, has therefore retreated from the front, CNN reported Wednesday citing unnamed sources.

The powerful Jewish figure at the Trump administration is “quietly leveraging his close relationship” with bin Salman as the two states engage in crisis management and “retreating to the sidelines when necessary.”

In part, Ivanka Trump’s husband is being cautious not to overstep the realm of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former CIA chief who has just visited top Saudi officials and received $100 million.

“Senior administration officials said Kushner's close relationship with bin Salman was an early cause for concern among career national security staffers, who worried off-the-books conversations with the young prince could lead to misunderstandings or worse,” read the report.

Trump has downplayed Kushner's close ties to the prince saying last week that, "We have a lot of very close relationships with a lot of countries."

Intelligence intercepts show that Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi mission in Istanbul on October 2, was murdered on bin Salman’s direct order.

Turkish media has previously released the identities of Saudi operatives, who had apparently travelled from Riyadh to Istanbul on two private jets and entered the Saudi mission for that matter.

Khashoggi had been there to obtain a document certifying he divorced his ex-wife.

ME

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Oct 18, 2018 04:57 UTC
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