Former President Donald Trump (left) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (right).

Former President Donald Trump recently spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, per the NYT.Trump once called the Saudi ruler “a friend of mine” whom he’d protected from congressional scrutiny.MBS was heavily criticized in 2018 after an American journalist was killed in a Saudi Consulate.

Former President Donald Trump recently spoke to his old “friend” and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

This was the first publicly disclosed conversation since Trump left the White House, The Times reported, citing two individuals familiar with the discussion.

It is unclear what the pair had discussed or whether this was their only conversation since Trump’s presidency ended in 2021, per The Times. Representatives for Trump and the Saudi government did not respond to The Times’ requests for comment.

That Trump has carried on his relationship with the Saudi ruler isn’t too surprising. When Trump was in office, Saudi Arabia was the first foreign country he chose to visit.

Trump’s relationship with the Saudis goes far beyond the political — it extends into his financial interests as well.

In November 2022, a Saudi real estate developer said it inked a deal with the Trump Organization to use the Trump brand for their $4 billion real estate development in Oman, per Reuters.

Trump’s son-in-law and former top aide, Jared Kushner, aide received a $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia into his investment fund after leaving the White House.

While in office, Trump called the Saudi ruler “a friend of mine” and lauded him as someone “who has really done things in the last 5 years in terms of opening of Saudi Arabia.

Trump also claimed that he’d protected the Saudi Crown Prince from congressional scrutiny following the brutal murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

“I saved his ass,” Trump reportedly told journalist Bob Woodward in 2020. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop.”

Representatives for Trump and the Saudi foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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