Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman spent millions turning Trump into his 'lapdog': book excerpt
US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman -- shown here at the White House in 2017. (AFP/File / NICHOLAS KAMM)

According to an excerpt from an upcoming book on the growing influence of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman reveals how the heir to the throne spent millions of dollars wooing Donald Trump to gain preferential treatment after gaining access through the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner.


In the book, Blood and Oil: Mohammed bin Salman's Ruthless Quest for Global Power by Wall Street Journal correspondents Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck, Trump is portrayed as someone who is easily swayed by praise and was manipulated by the Saudi prince who treated -- and feted -- the American president like a king.

As the excerpt details, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. deteriorated under former President Barack Obama and, with the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the Saudi prince saw an opening to get back in the good graces of a longtime ally based upon a shared dependence on oil.

With the help of Kushner, the book excerpt explains, "the upstart prince [MBS] had figured out exactly what to do to get Mr. Trump’s attention: big deals, audacious praise, and treating the elected president of a republic like a visiting king."

 The report notes that Mohammed bin Zayed, "the crown prince and day-to-day ruler of the United Arab Emirates," got the ball rolling with a meeting at Trump Tower with Kushner, then- Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Ivanka Trump and Michael Flynn who was later indicted for lying to the FBI about his dealings.

With the help of bin Zayed, MBS was soon introduced to Trump's circle of advisers, with the report stating, "Prince Mohammed gave Kushner confidence that he was a new kind of prince, one who understood the importance of the world of money and technology and wasn’t interested in age-old grievances."

That then set the stage for the wooing of Trump -- at great expense.

"Prince Mohammed’s staffers began working day and night to make it a blockbuster trip, arranging to not only host the President of the United States but the leader of just about every Muslim-dominated country as well as a cast of top American CEOs for a parallel business summit. They paid top dollar to fly in top chefs," the book reveals. " To show Trump that he—not MBN—was the most fervent fighter of terrorism in the Saudi government, Prince Mohammed brought engineers and a construction crew to transform a decrepit Royal Court hotel lobby into a Battlestar Galactica–style “war room” for a new anti-extremism center under Mohammed’s control. As later became clear, it was more a made-for-TV set for world leaders to convene on than an indicator of any kind of significant shift in Saudi priorities."

According to authors one misstep was quickly averted after Saudi organizers paid country music superstar Toby Keith to disrupt his touring schedule to perform for the president at the royal palace, only to be informed by a member of Trump's security team that the president "f*cking hates Toby Keith," which led to the musical artist performing elsewhere in the country -- out of sight of the president.

"The Saudis presented Mr. Trump with a pile of lavish gifts—bejeweled sculptures, swords, daggers, headdresses, and a robe lined with white tiger fur among them—and Trump and his staff would return to the United States claiming a foreign-policy victory of resetting ties with Middle East allies," the book notes adding that the status of MBS immediately increased with "unbelievable headlines and glowing coverage of the country and its reforms—the best anyone could remember since the days before 9/11."

The report adds, "Boosted by the experience, he [MBS] kicked plans to consolidate power into overdrive, arresting cousins, uncles, and a host of billionaires on allegations of corruption, rearranged the government, and bumped MBN out of position to inherit the throne."

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