Breakfast Briefing: McKinsey feels heat for work with Saudis

The consulting firm said over the weekend that it is "horrified" a report it conducted on reaction to kingdom policy could have been used to target dissenters.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Saudi Arabian authorities used a troll army to harass critics including Jamal Khashoggi and groomed a Twitter employee to spy on user accounts, according to The New York Times. The report also found that the Saudi government cracked down on critics after McKinsey conducted research on media and social media reaction to its policies. The consulting firm issued a statement this weekend saying it is "horrified by the possibility, however remote, that [its report] could have been misused."

Meanwhile, the Saudi Future Investment Initiative, known colloquially as "Davos in the Desert," is set to take place this week but with a C-list of attendees. As top-name Western executives and government officials pull out, the FII is filling their spots with midlevel bankers and Russian and Asian executives, according to The Wall Street Journal.

PR executives across the pond are hitting "Like" on the appointment of former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to Facebook’s top policy and communications role, despite skepticism in the media. One agency founder called the hire "phoenix-from-the-flames stuff for Nick Clegg, the forgotten man of British high-level politics."

Critics are saying RyanAir employees could have done more after a customer unleashed a racist tirade against another passenger on a Barcelona-to-London flight on Friday but was allowed to keep his seat. The incident was caught on video by another passenger. The Irish carrier has said it referred the matter to police.

The Mooch is back, hawking a book partially based on his 11 days working in the Trump White House. On Meet the Press on Sunday morning, Anthony Scaramucci said White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is "prone to hissy fits" and hurting West Wing morale. Kelly fired Scaramucci in July 2017.

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