Saudi Arabia’s crown prince reportedly bragged about having Jared Kushner ‘in his pocket’

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March 22, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly boasted to Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Jared Kushner was “in his pocket." – (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Andrew Harnik)

March 22, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly boasted to Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Jared Kushner was “in his pocket." – (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Andrew Harnik)

Jared Kushner reportedly discussed classified information obtained from the President's Daily Brief with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who bragged that he had Kushner "in his pocket," according to a report by The Intercept.

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser reportedly had a penchant for reading Trump's daily brief, a highly sensitive intelligence update that is only meant to be seen by the president and his top advisers, before being stripped of his top security clearance and access to the daily brief in February.

Before losing his security access, Kushner was particularly interested about information on the Middle East, the Intercept reported, citing several former White House and U.S. government officials. 

When Salman became the new heir to the throne in June last year, the daily brief reportedly began to focus on shifting political allegiances in Saudi Arabia, and named several Saudi royals who were opposed to the crown prince's position. 

Kushner then made a surprise trip to Riyadh in October, reportedly staying up until 4 a.m. with Salman to discuss strategy. 

Several sources told the Intercept that following the meeting, Salman told close confidants that Kushner had spilled the names of the Saudi royals "disloyal" to the prince, although Kushner's camp strongly denies the claim.

Salman reportedly told the United Arab Emirates' Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed about the meeting with Kushner, bragging that he had Kushner "in his pocket," sources told the Intercept.

Just a week after the meeting Salman began his large-scale corruption crackdown, which saw 200 officials arrested. According to the report, Saudi officials mentioned in the daily briefs were among those detained.

The 'two princes' have forged a close bond 

Kushner has built a close relationship with Salman, setting the stage for close communication between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

Kushner and Salman began their friendship at a lunch meeting at the White House last year, according to the Washington Post, citing sources familiar with their relationship. The two have been tasked with leading negotiations on Israel-Palestinian peace, and have consulted frequently in private phone calls over several months, according to the Post.

A source close to Kushner told CNN that Kushner's relationship with the Saudi prince is more personal and close than other professional relationships between the U.S. and world leaders, and that Kushner seeks to use that bond to deepen ties between the countries. 

Kushner is said to have played an important role in Salman's visit to the U.S. this week.