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November 20, 2018

Saudi crown prince reportedly described Jamal Khashoggi as dangerous Islamist in phone call with Jared Kushner

November 1, 2018
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (left) attends the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 23. Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi is pictured at right. (Getty Images (left); AP (right))

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly accused murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi of being a dangerous extremist in a phone call with Jared Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton.

Sources familiar with the discussion told the Washington Post the call took place just days after Khashoggi vanished during an Oct. 2 visit to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, where he’d been seeking the documents required to marry his fiancee.




The crown prince allegedly told Kushner and Bolton The Washington Post journalist was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that’s been designated a terrorist organization in Saudi Arabia and several other countries.

His attempts to discredit the journalist in private stands in contrast with the Saudi government’s public statements declaring Khashoggi’s death “a terrible mistake.”

Khashoggi’s family in a statement to the Post pushed back against the allegations raised by the crown prince.

“Jamal Khashoggi was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He denied such claims repeatedly over the past several years. Jamal Khashoggi was not a dangerous person in any way possible. To claim otherwise would be ridiculous,” they said.

“Although he sympathized with certain objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood, he also sharply disagreed with many of their positions, especially toward Saudi Arabia.”

Bolton and other Trump administration officials have long been opposed to the group.

A Saudi official denied the crown prince ever made such claims, saying “routine calls do exist from time to time” with Kushner and top U.S. officials, but that “no such commentary was conveyed.”

A Turkish prosecutor on Wednesday confirmed Khasoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate and was then dismembered as part of a premeditated murder plot.

Saudi Arabia initially denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance and maintained the he left the consulate alive. After weeks of speculation and leaks from Turkish authorities, Saudi officials claimed Khashoggi had died during “an altercation.”

Riyahd would go on to change its story a final time to acknowledge the journalist’s killing had been premeditated.

The crown prince has come under intense scrutiny in wake of Khashoggi’s killing, with several U.S. lawmakers of having some sort of role in the journalist’s death. Kushner has also come under fire recently for his close relationship with Prince Mohammed.

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