The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the man suspected of ordering the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, could not understand why the disappearance of the Saudi journalist was so important, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Mohammed bin Salman was shocked to see that Khashoggi's disappearance at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul provoked such international outrage, and he called on White House aide Jared Kushner to ask why, the newspaper said.
Quoting from anonymous people who recently interacted with the prince, The Journal said Crown Prince Mohammed became angry because the episode had turned into a diplomatic crisis.
Business and political leaders are now rejecting Saudi Arabia, and everyone from the US Treasury Secretary. UU Until The New York Times, they retire from an important conference in Riyadh scheduled for Tuesday.
Crown Prince Mohammed called Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump and adviser to the Middle East, on October 10, The Journal said, eight days after Khashoggi's disappearance.
Crown Prince Mohammed asked in English what the indignation was about, the report said, citing two people who were informed about the conversation.
Kushner and John Bolton, the national security adviser to the United States, informed the crown prince in response that he had to resolve the crisis quickly.
Kushner is close to Crown Prince Mohammed and, according to CNN, sends him text messages directly on WhatsApp. He has not taken a public role in the US response to the Khashoggi crisis, but reports suggest he has advised Trump to back Saudi Arabia until the episode disappears.
Part of the reason why the Khashoggi episode became a major diplomatic crisis was the pure depravity of the reports of his murder, which included leaks that the agents had brought a bone to the Saudi Consulate and dismembered the journalist.
Khashoggi, a 59-year-old contributor to The Washington Post, also had powerful friends in Washington.
The Saudi royal family, which runs the country, initially "relaxed" about the disappearance of Khashogui when the first reports emerged, The Journal reported, citing a source close to the royal family.
"Then he put a snowball," said the source. "When things started to heat up in the United States, everyone started to worry."
The Trump government seemed reluctant to hold the Saudi leadership accountable for weeks after the disappearance of Khashoggi.
Trump has continued to promote billions of dollars in arms contracts between Washington and Riyadh, which he repeatedly claimed could create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States.
After Saudi Arabia acknowledged Khashoggi's death, Trump told The Post that "obviously there have been deceptions and there have been lies" in Saudi Arabia's explanation of the disappearance and death.
But the president said he "would love it if he was not responsible," referring to Crown Prince Mohammed.
Many of the 15 men identified in the Turkish media as suspects in Khashoggi's murder have been spotted in the entourage of the crown prince.
Riad first recognized Khashoggi's death on Friday night, 17 days after his disappearance, but attributed it to "a fight and a physical confrontation" that got out of hand. Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed, previously stated that Khashoggi left the consulate and denied knowing his whereabouts.
The kingdom seems willing to distance the inheriting prince from matter. Shortly after recognizing the death of Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia arrested 18 suspects and fired a high-ranking general, most likely as an attempt to describe the killing as a dishonest operation, rather than one sanctioned by the higher levels of the Saudi government. .
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said Crown Prince Mohammed "had no knowledge of" the operation that resulted in Khashoggi's death.
Jubeir told Fox News on Saturday: "This was an operation that was a dishonest operation, it was an operation where people ended up exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had, they made a mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi at the consulate and they tried to cover it up. "
The crown prince received powers to restructure the country's intelligence services, the Saudi state news agency. reported on Friday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to reveal the "naked truth" about Khashoggi's death on Tuesday.