|Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman|
The Washington Post reports:
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he’s cracking down on corruption. But the sweeping arrests of cabinet ministers and senior princes Saturday night looked to many astonished Arab observers like
a bold but risky consolidation of power.
MBS, as the headstrong 32-year-old ruler is known, struck at some of the kingdom’s most prominent business and political names in a new bid to gain political control and drive change in the oil kingdom. By the count of the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya news channel, the arrests included 11 princes, four ministers and several dozen others
MBS is emboldened by strong support from President Trump and his inner circle, who see him as a kindred disrupter of the status quo — at once a wealthy tycoon and a populist insurgent. It was probably no accident that last month, Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, made a personal visit to Riyadh. The two princes are said to have stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. several nights, swapping stories and planning strategy.From Newsweek last week:
Jared Kushner made a secret visit to Saudi Arabia last week with other officials from President Donald Trump’s administration for talks on peace in the Middle East.
The president’s son-in-law and senior adviser made what was his third trip to the Gulf kingdom this year alone, Politico reported, citing a White House official.
Kushner traveled commercially on Wednesday and was in the country with Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell. It remains unclear whom they met with on their trip.-RW
Also see: HUGE: Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Has Been Arrested