U.S. embassy and security officials in Saudi Arabia say they were shocked when they learned that presidential adviser and son in law Jared Kushner cut them out of the loop completely during his recent trip to the country.
The fact that Kushner kept U.S. officials totally in the dark about his trip has led to greater suspicions about his relationship with the Kingdom of Saud, and whether he might be jeopardizing U.S. security.
Not only did Kushner cut U.S. embassy personnel out of his private meetings with Saudi Arabian government officials, but he also let the Saudi government take complete charge of providing his security.
According to reporting in The Daily Beast, embassy staffers in Riyadh “said they were not read in on the details of Jared Kushner’s trip to Saudi Arabia or the meetings he held with members of the country’s Royal Court last week.”
This is raising new concerns about Kushner since it was revealed that the presidential son in law got a permanent security clearance only after Trump himself overrode the objections of national security experts. Now there are increasing concerns that U.S. national security agencies have information about Kushner which led them to deny his security clearance, and this information has not been made public.
Increasing the concern is that the president has put his son in law in charge of the Middle East peace process for the United States, even though he has no relevant experience whatsoever that would qualify him for this job.
And state department officials have made clear that what Kushner did — and didn’t do — during his recent trip was a radical departure from accepted practices and normal behavior.
Especially concerning to them is that the U.S. embassy wasn’t even involved in coordinating Kushner’s security during his trip.
“When a member of the administration travels to another country, the embassy often helps coordinate the trip and provides some kind of security,” the Daily Beast reported. “This time, though, the Saudi government provided security for Kushner and his entourage… and the embassy was largely left in the dark on the details of Kushner’s schedule and his conversations with Saudi officials.”
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have both said that they are very frustrated by the embassy’s lack of involvement, which has made it harder to get details of what Kushner discussed with the Saudis.
Last Tuesday Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting an immediate criminal investigation into false statements made by Kushner on his security clearance form.
Last week House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) demanded that Donald Trump immediately turn over all records related to Kushner’s security clearance, but he has refused to do this.
Increasingly national security experts have expressed concerns that Jared Kushner is a serious risk to our national security. This conclusion was reinforced by Kushner’s latest antics in going to Saudi Arabia and holding secret meetings with their government.
The American people need to know what Jared Kushner has been talking about with Saudi Arabia, and we need to know why our own intelligence agencies refused to give him a top secret clearance. The national security of the United States depends on it.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.
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