Jared Kushner shocked a high-level Saudi delegation earlier this month when he personally called Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson and asked if she would cut the price of a sophisticated missile detection system. According to CNN, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law was pressured to finalize a massive $100-plus billion arms deal in the two weeks leading up to Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia. As such, Kushner hoped to maneuver a discount on Lockheed’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system during the Saudis’ visit to the White House on May 1st — a request that Hewson said she would look into at the time. The 36-year-old commercial real estate magnate started building a relationship with members of the Saudi royal family shortly after the election. In April, CNN reported that multiple White House and administration officials said Kushner overshadows nearly all of Trump’s West Wing and Cabinet advisers in terms of influence–and has established himself as the key envoy for those outside the administration.
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