Saudi Arabia funds new digital news platform in U.S., launches White House lobbying effort

Greg Schwartz:

Saudi Arabia is funding a yet-to-be-announced digital news platform, which will have a studio in Washington, D.C., as the kingdom begins a new lobbying effort aimed at the White House and Congress.

The new effort, which had yet to be reported, is being backed by a subsidiary of the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company, or Taqnia, according to new foreign lobbying disclosures filed with the Department of Justice.

Journalists and presenters involved in the project have past experience at Fox News, Al Jazeera, NBC and Sirius XM satellite radio.

The creation of what one of the documents calls a “news platform” comes as the kingdom has started hiring a new team of lobbyists as the Saudis seek access to President Joe Biden’s administration and the new Congress.

It also arrives almost three years after the death of Washington Post journalist and Saudi royal family critic Jamal Khashoggi. A recent U.S. intelligence report says the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, approved an operation to capture or kill Khashoggi.

Biden, however, opted not to punish the crown prince for his alleged role in Khashoggi’s death.