Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) reportedly boasted that Jared Kushner gave him top-secret classified information that he used to purge his political enemies last year.
According to a Daily Mail report, Kushner reportedly made a copy of the Presidential Daily Brief (PDF), which had classified information about bin Salman’s rivals, and gave the document to bin Salman to “impress” the crown prince when Kushner secretly traveled to Saudi Arabia last October.
“Jared took a list out of names from US eavesdrops of people who were supposedly MBS’s enemies,” Daily Mail’s source said. “He took a list out of these people who had been trashing MBS in phone calls, and said ‘these are the ones who are your enemies.’”
Kushner’s attorney Abbe Lowell claimed that the Daily Mail report was a “false story,” but the outlet’s Saudi Arabia sources said that “Kushner got hold of an intelligence briefing” and “copied it and provided its contents to MBS.”
According to the Daily Mail, if Kushner gave the classified information to MBS without President Donald Trump’s approval, “he may have violated federal laws around the sharing of classified intelligence.” The Intercept had previously reported that bin Salman had bragged to other Middle Eastern leaders that he had Kushner “in his pocket.”
Just days after Kushner left Saudi Arabia last October, MBS started his purge, rounding “princes from rival parts of the Saudi royal family and some of the country’s wealthiest businessman,” according to the report. The Daily Mail notes that some were even tortured at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton, and the New York Times reported that one of the detainees died as MBS started to consolidate his power..
The New Yorker had previously reported that those who were detained included: “eleven senior princes, several current or former ministers, the owners of three major television stations, the head of the most important military branch, and one of the wealthiest men in the world, who has been a major shareholder in Citibank, Twentieth Century Fox, Apple, Twitter, and Lyft.”
“It’s the equivalent of waking up to find Warren Buffett and the heads of ABC, CBS and NBC have been arrested,” a former U.S. official told the New Yorker. “It has all the appearances of a coup d’état. Saudi Arabia is rapidly becoming another country. The kingdom has never been this unstable.”
Though Kushner recently lost his top-secret security clearance, he took full advantage of his security clearance while he still had it, accessing the PDB and gathering information about MBS’s rivals and those who were “disloyal” to the crown prince, according to the report. Daily Mail points out that the “intelligence allegedly discussed during Kushner’s visit to the Middle East last October was said to have [come] from U.S. wiretaps on conversations between Arab royals in hotels in London, in major U.S. cities and even on yachts docked close to Monte Carlo.” The CIA intelligence reports reportedly named “several family members who were opposed” to bin Salman’s rise and were “plotting” against him.
Since Kushner entered the White House, national security officials have reportedly been worried about whether his meetings with foreign officials and financiers could have left him compromised. In addition, national security officials have reportedly been concerned that Kushner’s massive business debt could be a point of leverage that “foreign governments could use to influence in him.”
A recent Washington Post report noted that officials from at least four countries—China, Mexico, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates—discussed ways in which they could manipulate Kushner “by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience.”