Leading the charge against Tillerson for some time has been Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law. Kushner is rumored to have a strong relationship with the emerging Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, who is a frequent antagonist of Iran. Merry writes:
If reports are correct that Rex Tillerson is going to be fired as U.S. Secretary of State, to be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton taking Pompeo’s old job, then prospects for war with Iran become significantly greater. Tillerson has been less bellicose in his attitude toward Iran than either Pompeo or Cotton, who are both fervid critics of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, and ardent advocates of getting the United States back onto a collision course with the Islamic State.
But now Tillerson may be on the way out, and the big winner if he actually is fired will be Jared Kushner, Trump’s 36-year-old son-in-law, who holds a plethora of titles: senior adviser to the president; deputy national security adviser for strategy; and special representative for international negotiations. If Tillerson gets fired, Kushner almost surely will have been one of the leading voices advocating such a move. He and Tillerson have been adversaries within the administration since the beginning.
Kushner has strong ties to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (known informally as MbS), who is emerging as the most powerful Saudi of them all. As a senior Middle East diplomat told TAC’s Mark Perry the other day,“Kushner and MbS aren’t just close, they’re very, very close.” King Abdullah may be gone, but the Saudis still want America to cut off the head of the snake. And whenever the crown prince talks, Kushner listens very intently. And, by all accounts, whenever Kushner talks, his father-in-law listens intently.
Unlike Kushner, Tillerson manifested frustration with some of the more outlandish activities of the Saudi crown prince.
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