White House breaks silence on Jeff Bezos phone-hacking scandal, calls Saudi Arabia an ‘important ally’

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) meets with Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the Oval Office at the White House, March 14, 2017 in Washington, DC.

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U.S. President Donald Trump (R) meets with Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the Oval Office at the White House, March 14, 2017 in Washington, DC.
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Mark Wilson/Getty Images
  • The White House broke its silence Thursday on reports that Saudia Arabia was likely behind the hacking of Jeff Bezos’ phone.
  • The White House called Saudi Arabia an “important ally” and said it doesn’t have any additional information on the hacking allegations but it’s taking the situation “seriously.”
  • The spokesperson did not say whether the US plans to investigate the hacking, which the United Nations called for on Wednesday.
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The White House weighed in Thursday on reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was likely behind the hacking of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone.

“Saudi Arabia is obviously an important ally,” Hogan Gidley, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, told reporters.

“I’m aware of the reports … I don’t have any more information than that. Obviously we take this situation seriously,” he said.

On Tuesday, The Guardian reported that an international investigation had concluded that Bezos’ phone was most likely hacked via a video link sent in a May 2018 WhatsApp message from an account belonging to the Saudi Crown Prince. Cybersecurity experts hired by Bezos to investigate how details of his affair were leaked to the media also reported similar findings.

On Wednesday, the United Nations called for an “immediate investigation by US and other relevant authorities” after it published a report concluding with “medium to high confidence” that bin Salman’s WhatsApp account initiated the hack.

Gidley did not say whether the US plans to take up such an investigation.