Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the 2018 Future Investment Initiative. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images

As the fallout from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi continues to roil global relations, American consulting firms McKinsey & Company, Booz Allen Hamilton and Boston Consulting Group have stuck by the Saudi government, thanks in large part to a set of broad, lucrative business contracts that stretch back to at least 2010, reports the New York Times.

The big picture: The three firms played critical roles in bolstering the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose global PR blitz in 2017 earned him a reputation as a "reformer" — a label that is now under serious question. They've also taken on more "unconventional assignments" in their multimillion-dollar engagements with the kingdom, including training the Saudi navy as it upholds a blockade in Yemen, advising government ministries and — in at least one case — identifying the royal family's most prominent online critics.

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