The Saudi Crown Prince described journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a dangerous Islamist days after his disappearance in a phone call with Jared Kushner, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
In the call, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman encouraged the president’s son-in-law and national security adviser John Bolton, who was also on the line, to maintain the U.S.-Saudi alliance, according to people with knowledge of the call. He also said Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Khashoggi had been disproving this claim for years, according to The Hill.
Many Trump officials oppose the Muslim Brotherhood, the Post reported. In 2015, when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a congressman, he co-sponsored a bill that argued for classifying it as a terrorist group.
The call came before Saudi government acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed, according to the Post.
Public statements share a different sentiment — the government had called Khashoggi’s death a “terrible mistake” and a “terrible tragedy.”
A Saudi official on Wednesday denied the allegations that the crown prince made any such comments, the Post reported, saying “routine calls do exist from time to time.”
Early last month, Kushner, a White House senior adviser, spoke to the crown prince to glean more information on the missing journalist, who disappeared in Saudi’s embassy in Istanbul.
The two have developed a relationship over the last year. During a trip to the kingdom, Jared and the crown prince reportedly talked and discussed strategy most nights until 4 a.m.