More US military sales to Saudi Arabia as Trumps welcomes crown prince

Trump, Saudi Arabia prince bond over arms deals, hostility to Iran

He said he was restoring the more tolerant, egalitarian society that existed before Saudi Arabia's ultraconservatives were empowered in 1979.

The crown prince, who is also the defense minister, is on a public relations blitz while traveling in the United States, with stops in New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston to cultivate investments.

President Trump further tried to express his personal fondness to the Crown Prince saying, "I thought your father made a very wise decision".

The 32-year-old crown prince also has big economic plans, and over three weeks in the United States he will meet businessmen in NY, tech mavens from Google and Apple Inc.in San Francisco, and entertainment bigwigs in Los Angeles.

He says the relationship between the nations was "strained" during former President Barack Obama's tenure but that he and the crown prince have become "very good friends in a short period of time".

Jared Kushner discussed classified information from the president's daily briefing with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who bragged that he had Kushner "in his pocket", The Intercept reported on Wednesday, citing an unnamed source. Some tremendous things have happened for you since your last visit to the White House, when you were - when you were the Crown Prince, and now you're beyond the Crown Prince.

Promoting a more moderate form of Islam is one of the promises made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman under plans to modernise the kingdom. "Iran has not been treating that part of the world, or the world itself, appropriately".

Asked whether he was prepared to pull the United States out of the deal, Trump said "we're going to see what happens".

While in Washington, the crown prince is holding separate meetings with a long roster of influential US officials, including the secretaries of defense, treasury and commerce, the Central Intelligence Agency director and congressional leaders from both parties.

MBS' trip to the United States is also a pseudo-goodwill tour, with the Saudi leader looking to sell the country's education, business and political leaders on his vision for a country that he hopes to modernize in the coming years.

Prince Mohammed dodged a shouted question on the Iran deal, but waxed optimistic about prospects for closer economic ties amid "new waves of opportunities in different areas".

As the 32-year-old heir to the Saudi throne began his PR offensive, however, Congress was debating reducing military aid to Saudi Arabia because of alleged atrocities in the war in Yemen.

The Saudis are working aggressively to change perceptions. Still, Trump's administration doesn't want Congress to cut assistance for Saudi-led operations there, warning that without US help, civilian deaths would only increase.

He hailed the military sales as a boost to American jobs.

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