NEWS IN THE NUMBERS

Jan 29, 2020 3:36 pm

Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman garners little trust from people in the region and the U.S.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (center) attends the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29, 2019. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (center) attends the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29, 2019. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (sometimes known as MBS) is the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia and next in line for the kingdom’s throne. During his time in power, the prince came under worldwide scrutiny after the 2018 killing of journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey. More recently, the United Nations has opened an inquiry into whether the crown prince hacked the cellphone of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in May 2018. Bezos also owns The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi wrote.

Here are perceptions of Crown Prince Mohammed in the U.S. and among those in countries in the Middle East-North Africa region:

Few in the Middle East and U.S. have confidence in MBSMost across the Middle East and in the U.S. lack confidence in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed to do the right thing regarding world affairs. Among those in the five countries where the question was asked, Israelis have the least faith in the prince, with roughly eight-in-ten saying they doubt his ability to effectively manage international dealings. Only about a fifth of American and Lebanese respondents express confidence that the crown prince can effectively handle international concerns.

In the U.S., Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are slightly more likely to trust Crown Prince Mohammed than are Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, although both groups overwhelmingly lack confidence in him. Around a quarter of Republicans (27%) say they have confidence in the Saudi crown prince to do the right thing regarding world affairs, compared with 18% of Democrats who say this.

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