Jared Kushner calls arms company during $110-billion dealby Richard Bailey 20/05/2017 06:27:00 0 comments 1 Views
- Jared Kushner, 36, met with officials from Saudi Arabia to secure a $110-billion arms deal
- He paused the meeting when he sensed the Saudis were ambivalent about buying a weapon that was expensive
- Called the CEO of the company that manufactured the weapon to negotiate a price reduction
- Marilyn Hewson, the chief executive, reportedly said she will 'look into it'
By Timothyna Duncan For Dailymail.com
Published: 06:54 BST, 20 May 2017 | Updated: 11:27 BST, 20 May 2017
President Trump's son-in-law personally intervened during a $110-billion arms deal to get Saudi Arabian officials a better price.
Jared Kushner, 36, paused a meeting with the Saudis during the deal at a reception room in the White House and called the CEO of Lockheed Martin, which makes a military weapon that was on offer at the table, the New York Times reported.
Kushner asked Marilyn Hewson, 63, to cut the price of a radar system - which is designed to shoot down missiles - the Saudis wanted to buy and she retorted that she will 'look into it.'
'As his guests watched slack-jawed, Ms. Hewson told him she would look into it,' officials told The Times.
Jared Kushner, 36, paused a meeting with Saudis during a $110-billion arms deal to negotiate a a better price for the Middle-Eastern officials. He is pictured here holding a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the White House
Kushner asked Marilyn Hewson, 63, to cut the price of a radar system the Saudis wanted to buy and she said she will 'look into it', as guests looked on 'slack-jawed'. She is pictured here during a panel discussion at the 2015 Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco, California
The Saudis presented a list of items they wanted to Kushner, which included planes, ships and precision-guided bombs. President Trump and Kushner are pictured here with Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC in March
The Saudis presented a list of items they wanted, which included planes, ships and precision-guided bombs.
But then an American official at the meeting told them to also consider buying the radar system. When Kushner realized the price may be a problem, he picked up the phone and called Hewson.
Former officials say that most of the arms on offer on the table had already been agreed upon while Barack Obama was president.
What is different is how Trump and his team have related with the Saudis. Obama's relationship with the Arabs was often times strained because he disapproved of the country's bombing in neighboring Yemen.
On several occasions, they have been accused of bombing hundreds of Yemeni civilians, while fighting Iranian rebels waging a revolt in the country.
But Trump and his team have made it clear that human rights violations will not affect deals with other countries.
Trump's approach with negotiating deals with the Saudis is markedly different from Barack Obama's whose relationship with the Arabs were often times strained since he disapproved of the country's bombing in neighboring Yemen. Yemenis are pictured here during the aftermath of a Saudi-led air strike in the nation's capital. More than 45,000 have been killed since the Saudi-led alliance began in March 2015
But Trump and his team have made it clear that human rights violations will not come in the way of deals with other countries. He is pictured here with Hewson as he signs an executive order on regulatory reform at his desk in the Oval Office at the White House
Kushner wanted to secure the deal before Trump's two-day stop in Saudi Arabia and reportedly began the meeting with a brief message: 'Let's get this done today'.
As part of his eight-day foreign trip, Trump will be visiting Saudi Arabia with Kushner and Ivanka.
The president will meet with King Salman at the royal court and attend a conference with Persian Gulf allies as well a summit meeting with the leaders of Muslim countries. He is also scheduled to visit a new center dedicated to combating terrorism and extremism.
But both Kushner and Trump have left for the president's first foreign trip amid the domestic crisis surrounding the investigation into the alleged collusion between the president's campaign and Russian officials.
On Friday, it was announced that ousted FBI director James Comey had agreed to publicly testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee during a hearing that is scheduled next week.
Speaking of the outcome he hopes Comey's testify will bring, Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said on Friday evening: 'The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media.'
Vice Chairman Mark Warner reiterated Burr's comments on Comey, who he said had 'served the country with honor.'
'I hope that former Director Comey's testimony will help answer some of the questions that have arisen since Director Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the President,' Warner said.
'I also expect that Director Comey will be able to shed light on issues critical to this Committee's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
'Director Comey served his country with honor for many years, and he deserves an opportunity to tell his story.
'Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it.'
Trump will have a two-day stop in Saudi Arabia during his first foreign trip as a sitting president - amid a domestic crisis surrounding the investigation into his campaign's ties with Russia. He is pictured here waving as he and First Lady Melania depart the White House
Just hours ago, the Washington Post reported that the person of interest in the FBI investigation is a Senior White House official, although no name was mentioned. But a New York magazine reporter tweeted and said Kushner was the person in question. Kushner is pictured here with his wife Ivanka, as they join Trump in the Marine One helicopter
Trump's view on Comey was apparently markedly different during his meeting with Russia's ambassador and foreign minister last week, when he reportedly called Comey a 'nut job'.
'I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,' Trump said, according to the New York Times summary. 'I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off.'
Trump also assured the Russian envoys: 'I'm not under investigation.'
The investigation into Trump's ties with Russia has been accelerating.
Just hours ago, the Washington Post reported that the person of interest in the FBI investigation was a Senior White House advisor, although no name was mentioned.
But a New York magazine reporter, Yashar Ali, tweeted that Kushner was the person in question.
'Person described as 'close to the President' and a 'senior advisor' to the President. Only two people fit: Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller,' Ali posted.
He later added: 'It's Jared Kushner, I have confirmed this with four people. I am not speculating.'
Previous reports on the persons of interests have mainly been about those on Trump's campaign staff who are no longer there.
So far, it has been revealed that the former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson communicated with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the US.
Trump has maintained that his campaign had nothing to do with Russia.
'There is no collusion between, certainly myself and my campaign – but I can always speak for myself – and the Russians – zero,' he said on Thursday.
A New York magazine reporter, Yashar Ali, tweeted: 'Person described as 'close to the President' and a 'senior advisor' to the President. Only two people fit: Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller.'