Jared Kushner On Saudi Journalist: We Are Still Trying To Find Out What Happened

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Jared Kushner, who is close to the Saudi Crown Prince, has cautioned President Trump against jumping to conclusions.

Saudi Arabia produced a new narrative last week surrounding the death of Jamal Khashoggi, claiming the Saudi journalist and dissident was killed accidentally during a fist fight inside its consulate in Istanbul — an account disputed by Turkish officials.

But White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said Tuesday that the Trump administration is still in “fact-finding” mode and does not want to dismiss the fact that Saudi Arabia has been an ally of the United States.

From The New York Times:

> Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who has been the key contact with Prince Mohammed, likened the doubts about the truthfulness of Saudi officials to the run-of-the-mill perfidy that the White House deals with in Washington.

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> “Every day we deal with people who are trying to deceive us in different ways,” Mr. Kushner said during a CNN forum in Manhattan. “But our job is to see through it, but also to stay focused on what’s best for the American people.”

Kushner said though the White House is still working to determine what happened, it is doing so with “eyes wide open” as the investigation continues.

The Times noted that suspicion regarding the Saudis truthfulness about Khashoggi’s fate only grew deeper on Monday as it was revealed that they had deployed a body double after the journalists killing, suggesting a plan to cover up premeditated actions — not an accidental death, as officials have claimed.

> On Monday, CNN showed images, leaked by the Turkish authorities, that showed the body double strolling around Istanbul, apparently wearing Mr. Khashoggi’s clothes. The man was identified as Mustafa al-Madani, described in his now-deleted Facebook profile as a Saudi government engineer.

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> Mr. Kushner, a key adviser on the Mideast peace process, has developed a strong relationship with the Saudi crown prince.

Kushner reportedly has spoken with Prince Mohammed several times within the past week and advised President Trump against jumping to conclusions in the matter.

> “I think that, again, the president is focused on what’s good for America, what are strategic interests,” Mr. Kushner said. “Where do we share interests with other countries — let’s work toward those.”

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> “I think that, again, the president is focused on what’s good for America, what are strategic interests,” Mr. Kushner said. “Where do we share interests with other countries — let’s work toward those.”

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> When Mr. Jones noted that even Mr. Trump had said that there had been “deception” and “lies” from the Saudis in relation to the Khashoggi case, Mr. Kushner offered a more muted response.

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> “We’re getting facts in from multiple places,” he said. “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.”

More here.

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