Castro, a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees, suggested that although the idea might seem “disturbing,” there was a possibility that Kushner, with the support of US intelligence agencies, could have delivered a list of enemies to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), making the remarks during a CNN appearance on Friday.
What Castro said he found troubling was the “reporting that Jared Kushner may have, with US intelligence, delivered a hit list, an enemies list to the crown prince, to MBS in Saudi Arabia, and that the prince then may have acted on that, and one of the people that he took action against is Mr. Khashoggi.”
CNN host Poppy Harlow said that she hadn’t seen those reports, asking Castro what source he had for his claims. “There has been reporting to that effect. I’ve seen reporting to that effect,” Castro responded, though he did not name any particular outlet.
Kushner, who reportedly has close ties with the Saudi crown prince, has kept out of the public eye since Khashoggi’s disappearance, BuzzFeed reports. However, details on Kushner’s relationship with the prince are scarce — though Kushner has traveled to Riyadh, with one such trip in October 2017 being unannounced — and there have been no reports suggesting Kushner was involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Castro later said on Twitter he “did not intend to accuse [Kushner] of orchestrating anything,” yet noted the number of stories about the close relationship between the president’s son-in-law and the Saudi crown prince.
For these reasons, Congress should open an investigation to see whether @jaredkushner or any other Admin official shared any US intelligence with the Saudis that led to any political persecution, including the killing of #JamalKhashoggi. (7/7)— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) 19 октября 2018 г.
The Democratic representative also told BuzzFeed that “the close relationship between Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman is a source of concern for the US intelligence community and those of us who want a transparent American foreign policy.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the allegations "an outrageous slanderous lie without a shred of proof," in her Twitter account.
.@JoaquinCastrotx’s allegation is an outrageous slanderous lie without a shred of proof, it’s reprehensible for a sitting Congressman and supposed “news” outlets to continue citing an article that used unnamed sources and was completely debunked.https://t.co/xf2Zhitg8B— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) 19 октября 2018 г.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia, disappeared October 2 after he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish authorities launched an investigation, claiming they had found audio proof that a 15-man team of Saudi assassins tortured and killed the journalist in the consulate. Saudi Arabia denies all such allegations, claiming that Khashoggi left the consulate alive on the same day and vowing to provide all possible assistance to the investigation.