>> At first glance, it appeared to be business as usual. Saudi Arabia's King Salman delivering his annual speech to the country's top advisers. But there was no mention of the Kingdom's biggest crisis, the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the international uproar surrounding it that's growing louder.
And behind the scenes, support for the King's favorite son, crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman appears to be slipping. Three sources close to the royal court have told Reuters that some members of the ruling family are gathering support to prevent the prince, known as MBS, for becoming king. A quick glance at the Saudi royal family show how his favorite, MBS, jumped the line of succession.
Now there's chatter that the uncle of the crown prince, the only surviving full brother of the king, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz could take the throne. According to sources, they're discussing this possibility with other family members as an option after the king's death. The sources say dozens of princes and cousins from powerful branches of the Al Saud family, want to see a change in the line of succession.
But they would not act while the 82-year-old King Salman is still alive. Throughout the Khashoggi crisis, the King has stood by his son who denies he knew anything of the planned murder, a denial backed by the Saudi public prosecutor investigating the killing. Despite a CIA assessment backed by European officials that MBS ordered the operation.
Khashoggi was a prominent critic of the Saudi crown prince. He was murdered in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, on October 2nd. It appears his death is doing far more damage to the prince's reputation.