MBS is emboldened by strong support from President Trump and his inner circle, who see him as a kindred disrupter of the status quo — at once a wealthy tycoon and a populist insurgent. It was probably no accident that last month, Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, made a personal visit to Riyadh. The two princes are said to have stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. several nights, swapping stories and planning strategy.
There are dark rooms in the basements of government buildings in Virginia and Maryland where people with high level security access are sitting up late at night mapping out possible Saudi futures.
The House of Saud is a byzantine network of political, familial, and social connections and loyalties and debts and credits, and it all happens in rooms built upon more cash than most people can imagine.
MBS has moved from nobody to a very interesting next-in-line-to-the-throne-and-the-purse-strings position. And he's young. And he's a poor strategist. And he has weirdly liberal tendencies (women driving was his issue he pushed through) while also coveting and keeping a laser-focus on the sole goal of obtaining the absolute power of the monarch.
And it hasn't even been 20 years.
Shit's gonna get REAL interesting in the next 5 years or so, when his dad kicks the bucket or abdicates to his #1 Son.
(This isn't even touching on the web of interrelationships between the bin-Laden construction family, and the House of Saud. That's a whole 'nother scary pile of shit.)