US stops asking Saudi Arabia to pump more oil, report says

US stops asking Saudi Arabia to pump more oil, report says

The US-Saudi relationship has long been underpinned by the exchange of US arms and security guarantees for access to Saudi oil. But that relationship has reached a breaking point, officials told The Journal.

MBS is upset with Biden’s refusal to recognise him as the de facto ruler of the kingdom, Biden’s rhetoric on the country’s human-rights record, the US failure to guarantee its security following a string of attacks led by Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the revival of the Iran nuclear deal.

After the administration released an intelligence memo blaming MBS for the murder of Washington Post and MEE columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the White House appointed Defence Minister Lloyd Austin as the point man for MBS, while Biden maintained he would only deal with King Salman. [That’ll show him! Send in the Raytheon salesman!]

Biden has yet to meet MBS – or his father, King Salman – in an official capacity. Now, Saudi officials have told The Journal that not even a state visit would be enough to resolve the tensions.

Regime Change in 1…2…3…🤷🏼‍♀️

Steve Bannon Thought Jeffrey Epstein Was a Spy

Steve Bannon Thought Jeffrey Epstein Was a Spy

Charles Johnson, a conservative provocateur, worked with Bannon at Breitbart News, the right-wing website Bannon led for several years, and also got the impression that Bannon’s visits to Epstein involved the intelligence world. Johnson says that Bannon made several visits to Epstein’s New York mansion after he was ousted from the White House in August 2017. “He also offered to introduce me to him at one point,” Johnson tells Rolling Stone. (Johnson declined the offer.) “What I was told about that meeting by people close to Bannon was that he was trying to replace Epstein as a source for information from various intelligence networks. He saw Epstein as a rival or a partner but he wanted what Epstein had.” Johnson, who says he’s now a Biden supporter, said he has been cooperating with law-enforcement officials investigating Bannon.

In recent years, Bannon has become a close to Guo Wengui, a fugitive Chinese billionaire living in New York who has been locked in a dispute with his homeland. Guo has accused Chinese Communist Party officials of corruption; China has accused him of bribery, fraud, and blackmail. At the same time, Guo has been accused by one of his former business partners and a Chinese media star of, among other things, sexual blackmail. According to a lawsuit filed in New York and reports in Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper, Guo allegedly used prostitutes and hidden cameras to compromise powerful figures as a means of clout and control. A message sent to Guo’s representative seeking comment was not returned.

Just as he helped elevate Epstein’s status, Bannon has attempted to legitimize Guo. He has served on the boards of companies and nonprofits linked to Guo, some of which are reportedly under federal investigation. He had been living on Guo’s yacht when he was arrested last year for defrauding donors to a group trying to build Trump’s border wall.

‘Zarifgate’ is FAKE NEWS: Israel Reported 200 Strikes in Syria 3 Years Ago Themselves

“Should Kerry tell me that Israel has conducted more than 200 attacks [air strikes] against us in Syria?” That’s the whole quote. All of it. And Israel reported on their illegal strikes in Syria 3 years ago. Not a secret. This is the Republican version of ‘Bountygate’… i.e. FAKE NEWS.

‘Zarifgate’ is FAKE NEWS: Israel Reported 200 Strikes in Syria 3 Years Ago Themselves


Concern over UK-based Iranian TV channel’s links to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Sought Vice’s Help to Build a Media Empire:

In one media venture that competes with the influence of Saudi rival Iran, individuals connected to the Saudi royal court funded and helped launch Iran International, a Persian-language broadcaster in London, according to British corporate records and people familiar with the channel.

Some journalists at Iran International have complained that management is pushing a pro-Saudi, anti-Iran line at the 24-hour channel, which broadcasts via satellite to the Middle East, Europe and the U.S., and can be viewed in Iran.

Saudi Arabia is making “a systematic and very persistent push in a new direction in the media sphere,” said Negar Mortazavi, Iran International’s former Washington correspondent, who left the organization last year. “The Saudis want influence and credibility, and are paying a lot for it.”