In yesterday’s Washington Post David Ignatius reports in a column about serious efforts by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) to get the infamous emails of Hillary Clinton publicized, something that President Trump also wants and SecState Pompeo has been promising while complaining about problems getting them out. My guess is there is nothing in them not already known, but MbS has really been pushing on this. Aside from trying to help his pal, Trump, what is up with this?
Ignatius speculates that this is tied to a new effort to assert his dictatorial total power in Saudi Arabia by MbS, in particular against the man he removed and replaced as Crown Prince in a coup that was encouraged by the Trump administration. That man is Mohammed bin Nayef (MbN), who was much admired and respected by the US intelligence establishment due to his cooperation in combatting various international terrorist groups. His father, Mohammed bin Abdulaziz, a full Sudeiri Seven brother of MbS’s father, King Salman, was Minister of the Interior for a long time, and MbN served in that position, as well as being named Crown Prince by the previous king, Abdullah.
MbS had him arrested in his own palace by MbS’s personal military, with him having access to plenty as Minister of Defense when he pulled this off in 2017. MbN was kept from having medicines he needed and forced to abdicate. He has remained under house arrest since.