Ali Soufan Quoted by NBC News: Trump May Have Lost his Risky Bet on Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman
November 6, 2018
By: Dan De Luce & Robert Windrem
On Friday the Saudi government finally admitted that writer Jamal Khashoggi had died inside its Istanbul consulate, saying he had been killed in a fight.
Asked to respond to the Saudi statement, President Donald Trump called it an “important first step,” then began talking about the size of planned U.S. arms deals with the kingdom, cautioned against retribution against Riyadh and said, “I’m going to speak to the crown prince …”
Other former officials said the demotion of Mohammed bin Nayef was an ominous sign. “Letting Mohammed bin Salman push out Mohammed bin Nayef is the original sin of this relationship,” said Ali Soufan, a former FBI official who has written extensively about counterterrorism in the Middle East. “Mohammed bin Nayef was the most important counterterrorism official in the Middle East [and] had worked with the U.S. for decades …”
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