Tags: Middle East | Trump Administration | Jared Kushner | Saudi Arabi | Lockheed Martin | arms

NYT: Kushner Hands-on Broker of $110B Saudi Arms Deal

Image: NYT: Kushner Hands-on Broker of $110B Saudi Arms Deal
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

By    |   Thursday, 18 May 2017 10:39 PM

President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner personally intervened in a $100-billion-plus arms deal with Saudi Arabia – making a call to press for a price cut on a radar system designed to shoot down ballistic missiles, The New York Times reported.

According to the Times, at a May 1 meeting with a high-level delegation of Saudis, Kushner called Marillyn Hewson, the chief executive of Lockheed Martin, which makes the radar system, and asked if she could cut the price.

"As his guests watched slack-jawed, Ms. Hewson told him she would look into it," the Times reported, citing unnamed officials.

The Times noted the personal intervention in the $110 billion arms sale "is further evidence of the Trump White House's readiness to dispense with custom in favor of informal, hands-on deal making."

"Both sides have an incentive to herald this as a new era in Gulf cooperation," Derek Chollet, who served as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs under former President Barack Obama, whose administration brokered a $115 billion arms deal with the Saudis.

What has changed, he added, is the House of Saud is now dealing directly with a member of the Trump family.

"It's quite normal for them to sit down with the son-in-law of a president and do a deal," he told the Times. "It's more normal for them than any previous administration."

Kushner's work on the deal was part of a governmentwide effort that includes the State Department, the Defense Department, and the National Security Council, officials told the Times, and will be one element of Trump's two-day stop in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

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President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner personally intervened in a $100-billion-plus arms deal with Saudi Arabia – making a call to press for a price cut on a radar system designed to shoot down ballistic missiles, The New York Times reported.
Jared Kushner, Saudi Arabi, Lockheed Martin, arms
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2017-39-18
Thursday, 18 May 2017 10:39 PM
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