The Slatest

Despite Trump’s “Rogue Killers” Speculation, More D.C. Power Brokers Abandon Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meeting with Kuwait officials in Kuwait City
A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on Sept. 30 shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed by Kuwaiti dignitaries during his visit to Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah in Kuwait City.
Bandar Al-Jaloud/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia’s extensive—and expensive—network in the D.C. power broker community and in the rest of the Western business and political world has gotten a little smaller. Two major lobbying firms, one more aligned with Democrats and the other with Republicans, dropped or planned to drop Saudi Arabia as a client, the Washington Post reported.

The Glover Park Group, which had been getting paid $150,000 a month, “notified the Saudi Embassy in Washington that is was canceling its two-year-old contract to represent the kingdom,” the Post reported. The Glover Park Group was founded by former Bill Clinton and Al Gore staffers. BGR, a Republican-aligned firm, dropped its $80,000 per month contract, the Post also reported. These are the second and third lobbying firms to drop Saudi Arabia—the Harbour Group said last week it would no longer represent Saudi Arabia.

One prominent think tank, the Brookings Institution, dropped its one contract with Saudi Arabia, according to BuzzFeed News, and said it would no longer take money from Aramco, the kingdom’s oil company.

This comes after a number of finance and technology executives dropped out of an upcoming investment conference in Riyadh that was supposed to be yet another showcase for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to integrate Saudi Arabia into the world economy as more than just an oil exporter.

President Trump’s theory that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was allegedly murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, might have been slain by “rogue killers” does not seem to have assured many of Saudi Arabia’s business and political partners in the U.S.