Crown Prince MBS Vowed 'Consequences' for US: Report

In classified doc seen by 'WaPo,' de facto Saudi leader spouted off after Biden's own threat last year
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2023 7:35 AM CDT
Crown Prince MBS Vowed 'Consequences' for US: Report
In this photo, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seen in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on May 19.   (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

Last fall, President Biden warned of "consequences" headed Saudi Arabia's way after the kingdom cut oil production, which in effect proved helpful to Russia as it continued its invasion into Ukraine. Biden later seemed to walk back his admonition in favor of trying to repair strained ties between the US and its Middle Eastern ally. Now, according to a classified document seen by the Washington Post, it looks like Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS, was less polite about the whole matter than he appeared in public. The crown prince threatened "major economic consequences for Washington," adding that he "will not deal with the US administration anymore," per the intelligence document.

It's not clear if US officials had been told of the crown prince's remarks directly, or if they were overheard in US spying operations. The classified document ended up on the Discord social media platform, apparently part of a larger leak of very sensitive national security items, though a rep for the National Security Council tells the Post that "we are not aware of such threats by Saudi Arabia." "In general, such documents often represent only one snapshot of a moment in time and cannot possibly offer the full picture," the spokesperson noted, adding that "the United States continues to collaborate with Saudi Arabia, an important partner in the region."

Indeed, on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the 37-year-old de facto Saudi leader and had an "open, candid" conversation "about a wide range of bilateral issues," Reuters reports. The two men were said to have chatted for about an hour and 40 minutes. Meanwhile, the AP notes a "stunning turnaround in the global standing of the crown prince," who'd been shunned after the 2018 killing of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which MBS admitted had happened "under my watch." One big notch in the crown prince's belt: a recent shocking merger of golf's PGA Tour with the controversial Saudi-owned LIV Tour. (Read more Mohammed bin Salman stories.)

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