CBS News reports:
The Trump administration is still in a “fact-finding phase” to discover exactly what happened to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
Kushner, who has been a crucial figure in bridging the U.S.-Saudi relationship and relationship with 33-year-old Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in particular, emphasized in a forum with CNN’s Van Jones Monday that the U.S. is waiting for all the facts to emerge.
And, Kushner added, it’s important to keep in mind how critical the U.S.-Saudi relationship is for combatting terrorism and Iranian aggression. Kushner’s language mirrored how the president has cast the Khashoggi saga, although Kushner didn’t bring up the value of arms sales, as Mr. Trump repeatedly has.
Kushner, who has a close relationship with the Saudi royal family, declined to implicate Riyadh directly in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi writer and government critic who Saudi Arabia now claims died in a fistfight in its Istanbul consulate after initially denying any involvement in his disappearance earlier this month.
“The Middle East is a rough place. It’s been a rough place for a very long time,” he said while appearing on CNN’s Citizen program. “We have to be able to pursue our strategic objectives. But we also have to deal with what is obviously a terrible situation.
“We have to be able to work with our allies, and Saudi Arabia has, I think, been a very strong ally in terms of pushing back on Iran’s aggression,” he added.
.@AshleyRParker: this Jared Kushner MBS relationship is one of the seminal relationships of this administration. It started early on, and the main reason that the President made Saudi Arabia his first stop when they traveled abroad. #AMR
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) October 22, 2018
CNN’s Van Jones: “Do you trust the Saudis to investigate themselves?”
Jared Kushner: “We’re getting facts in from multiple places. Once those facts come in, the Secretary of State will work with our national security team to help us determine what we want to believe” #CITIZENCNN pic.twitter.com/JW8MDkHl3J
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 22, 2018
Jared Kushner says the Trump administration is still working to determine all the facts surrounding the death of Jamal Khashoggi. #CITIZENCNN
— CNN (@CNN) October 22, 2018