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Kushner and Saudi crown prince communicated informally on WhatsApp: report

White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump eyes post-midterm shakeup Congress braces for high-drama lame duck Trump’s tough-love policy for China MORE raised concerns among administration officials by communicating with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on private channels, including through the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp, CNN reported Wednesday.

Kushner's relationship with the Saudi leader reportedly raised concerns among national security staffers early on in his role but has come under increased scrutiny as U.S. officials monitor the findings of an investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Once concerns were raised about Kushner's close ties to the crown prince, Kushner reportedly told others within Trump's team about his conversations with the crown prince, according to CNN.

CNN reported that Kushner, who is also President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeath toll in Northern California wildfire rises to 48: authorities Graham backs bill to protect Mueller Denham loses GOP seat in California MORE's son-in-law, has worked "behind the scenes" to stay out of the spotlight and help handle the diplomatic fallout in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance.

A White House spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that Kushner "has always meticulously followed protocols and collaborated with colleagues regarding the relationship with [Crown Prince Mohammed] and all of the other foreign officials with whom he interacts.”

Reports have indicated that Kushner and Crown Prince Mohammed have developed a close relationship. The president's son-in-law and senior adviser met with the crown prince most recently in June to discuss the Trump administration's Middle East peace plan.

Kushner spoke with Crown Prince Mohammed last week over the phone to ask for more information about Khashoggi's disappearance. National security adviser John Bolton was also on the call.

The crown prince's image as a reformer has come under fresh scrutiny following Khashoggi's disappearance. Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on orders from Saudi leadership. Khashoggi has been missing since Oct. 2 when he entered the consulate in Turkey.  

Saudi Arabia has said it does not know what happened to Khashoggi, and the country is conducting a joint investigation into his disappearance with Turkish officials.

Trump on Wednesday said the U.S. has requested audio and video from Turkey related to Khashoggi's disappearance. The president again denied that he is providing cover to Saudi Arabia in connection with the Khashoggi case.