The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Hides His Mother, US Officials UU They say: The Bidirectional: NPR

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, attends a meeting in November 2017 in Riyadh. US officials UU They say he has hidden his mother.

Fayez Nureldine / AFP / Getty Images

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Fayez Nureldine / AFP / Getty Images

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, attends a meeting in November 2017 in Riyadh. US officials UU They say he has hidden his mother.

Fayez Nureldine / AFP / Getty Images

The future king of Saudi Arabia has hidden his mother's whereabouts from his father and the public, according to US officials.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has given his father, King Salman, several different explanations for his absence, say 14 current and former US officials. UU who spoke with NBC on condition of anonymity. Among the lies he is said to have created is that he is receiving medical treatment abroad.

Years of intelligence have led to US officials. UU To believe that the Saudi heir, who is now 32 years old, is hiding the location of his mother. Officials say the crown prince was motivated by the belief that she opposed her ascendancy to the throne and would use her position as King Salman's third wife to avoid it.

A source close to the royal family told NBC that the prince worried that his mother would try to "empower his brothers." That supposedly caused a gap between the prince and his mother years ago.

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Little information is publicly available about the mother-child relationship. Crown Prince Mohammed is his firstborn son, and according to Western diplomats who spoke with New York Times in 2015, she "worked hard to promote him as his father's successor."

"He is his eldest son," a long-time badociate told the publication. "For her, he is her glory at the end of the day."

Officials first badessed that Princess Fahda bint Falah Al Hathleen, the mother of the crown prince, was being hidden during the Obama administration. At a meeting at the White House in September 2015, King Salman reinforced that badessment when he told then-President Barack Obama that his wife was in New York receiving medical attention. Obama did not notify him that the princess was not in New York, officials told NBC.

They also said that in early 2016, EE. UU He collected communications in which the prince discussed his efforts to separate his mother from his father without knowledge of the latter.

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The mother of the crown prince would not be the first Saudi royal whose movements were restricted since the prince took power in June 2017. He dethroned his cousin, the then Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was confined to his palace in Jiddah with guards loyal to the crown prince, reported the Wall Street Journal . In November, the ministers and princes were arrested and placed under house arrest at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh.

The Saudi embbady in Washington denied to NBC the claims that the princess is separated from her husband or under house arrest.

Authorities said their badessment is based on human sources, intercepted data and information collected from countries they share with the United States.

The NBC report comes at a time when the conservative country has taken steps to offer more rights to women. The kingdom is lifting the ban on driving women, and for the first time women can also join the army. The 2030 Vision of the crown prince for the country includes the goal of incorporating more women into the workforce, "from 22% to 30%."

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King Salman, now 82, has said he misses his wife. But by keeping it secretly out of sight, his son shows a willingness to eliminate what he perceives as obstacles to his role as future king, say current and former NBC officials.

President Trump will receive the crown prince at the White House on March 20.

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