"What has changed... is that the House of Saud is now dealing directly with a member of the Trump family."
Quite a lede in this New York Times story on the role that Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner played in a $110 Billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, just before Trump's very first overseas trip as President -- to, you guessed it, Saudi Arabia.
On the afternoon of May 1, President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, welcomed a high-level delegation of Saudis to a gilded reception room next door to the White House and delivered a brisk pep talk: “Let’s get this done today.”
Mr. Kushner was referring to a $100 billion-plus arms deal that the administration hoped to seal with Saudi Arabia in time to announce it during Mr. Trump’s visit to the kingdom this weekend. The two sides discussed a shopping list that included planes, ships and precision-guided bombs. Then an American official raised the idea of the Saudis’ buying a sophisticated radar system designed to shoot down ballistic missiles.
Sensing that the cost might be a problem, several administration officials said, Mr. Kushner picked up the phone and called Marillyn A. Hewson — the chief executive of Lockheed Martin, which makes the radar system — and asked her whether she could cut the price. As his guests watched slack-jawed, Ms. Hewson told him she would look into it, officials said.
A gentle reminder that Kushner was not elected to public office.
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