White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said Monday that the Trump administration has its eyes “wide open” regarding the death and suspected murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. But, Kushner emphasized, “we have to be able to work with our allies.”
“Right now, as an administration, we’re more in the fact-finding phase, and we’re obviously getting as many facts as we can from the different places, and then we’ll determine which facts are credible, and then, after that, the President and the Secretary of State will make a determination as to what we deem to be credible, and what actions we think we should take,” Kushner told CNN’s Van Jones in a live interview at the “Citizen by CNN” festival.
“I’ll also say that we have to be able to work with our allies,” Kushner continued, before crediting Saudi Arabia as “a very strong ally in terms of pushing back against Iran’s aggression.”
“We have to be able to pursue our strategic objectives, but we also have to deal with, obviously, what seems to be a terrible situation,” he added.
Asked by Jones if he trusted the Saudis to investigate themselves, Kushner said “We’re getting facts in from multiple places.” Kushner recalled telling Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman “just to be transparent” and “the world is watching.”
At the beginning of Jones’ questions on Saudi Arabia, he told Kushner: “you’ve got, also on your plate, the Middle East.”
Kushner corrected that résumé item: “I don’t have the Middle East. I was given the Middle East peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and I’ve dealt with a lot of the other regional partners in that effort.”
He added, after crediting other members of the Trump foreign policy team: “I have one small component of it.”