MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace drew on her past experience as White House communications director to explain the political liability the Trump administration is facing due to senior advisor Jared Kushner’s close relationship with Mohammed bin Salman.
“In a normal White House, the fact that one of the president’s closest allies on the world stage, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — known as MBS — reportedly ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia with a goal of detaining him would be big news,” Wallace noted. “Especially since he hasn’t been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey and is believed to be dead.”
“In a normal White House, a president would want to know if his ‘Presidential Daily Brief’ — or PDB — included the signal intelligence reported by the Washington Post that suggests that U.S. intelligence officials knew about the Saudi leader’s desire to detain the Washington Post columnist,” she continued.
“If the president didn’t know, how high up did the intel go? Did the [Director of National Intelligence] know? The director of the CIA?” she asked.
“In a normal White House, the president’s national security team might just want to start a list of all of Jared Kushner’s contacts with the young crown prince of Saudi Arabia, out of concern that the optics alone of the two hubristic young men huddled closely — literally and figuratively — might be damaging if we come to learn the Turkish reports of 15 Saudis flying to Turkey and entering the consulate there to kill and dismember the Washington Post columnist are true and that the administration knew that the Saudi leader intended to detain Khashoggi,” Wallace explained, while rolling tape of MBS and Kushner.
“In a normal White House, that would all count as a full-blown national security crisis,” Wallace concluded. “But this isn’t a normal White House, not even close.”