Jared Corey Kushner is an American businessman and investor. He served as a senior advisor to his father-in-law, Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States. Since leaving the White House, Kushner founded a private equity firm that derives most of its fund from the Saudi government’s sovereign wealth fund. Wikipedia
Victoria Penelope Jane Ward is a British-born American author, investigative journalist, editor-at-large, and television commentator. She was a Senior Reporter at CNN and a former magazine and newspaper editor who has featured in The New York Times Best Seller list. Wikipedia
Remember: Jared Kushner has zero track record as an investor. Before going into politics, he was in real estate, and, as I wrote in KUSHNER, INC., he wasn’t very good at that.
So why so much money for an inexperienced investor? I reported that the money was possibly both an IOU for sympathetic foreign policy led by Kushner during the Trump years and also a bet by MBS on a return to the White House by Donald Trump.
Since then, I’ve learned that what’s at the heart of this potentially reveals the reason Kushner was denied a top-secret security clearance by the CIA.
I’m told it was Kushner and his allies who blocked top-level U.S. government support for MBS’s cousin, former Saudi Crown Prince MBN—a long-time intelligence and counter-terrorist asset for the U.S.—when MBN attempted a legal coup d’état in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2017.
MBN believed he had enough support from the so-called “Council of Ministers” to back him in a regime change. If successful, both King Salman and MBS (then deputy crown prince) would have been unseated and replaced by MBN.
My sources tell me it was Kushner and his allies in the White House who got word to MBS of bin Nayef’s plans, and the plot was abruptly stopped. (As I’ve mentioned before, a spokesperson for Kushner has denied passing on intelligence to the Saudis.)
But, according to three sources with knowledge, it was this meddling in Saudi royal affairs that caused U.S. intelligence officials to go “apoplectic” and prevent Kushner from getting a top-level security clearance.
Jared Kushner basically handed the Saudis this information, thereby giving MBS the opportunity to kneecap his rival and get rid of him. MBN has not been heard from since his arrest in March 2020, when he was imprisoned somewhere in Saudi Arabia.
According to Bruce Riedel, a former C.I.A. officer and senior fellow of both intelligence and Middle East policy at Brookings who has known MBN, it was “highly plausible” that Kushner was “paid off” for getting MBN out of the way.
It’s a view I’ve heard echoed by three other sources in the intelligence community who are experienced in the region and who dealt with Kushner.