Why Saad Hariri quit

The strangest political story of 2017 wasn't the circus at the White House, it was the shock resignation and likely kidnapping of Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The saga rocked the region and offered a glimpse into what will be a tumultuous year ahead in the Middle East.

The New York Times spoke to a dozen Western, Lebanese and regional officials and associates of Hariri to piece together what happened.

The next morning, he was summoned to meet the prince. There was no customary royal convoy, so Mr. Hariri took his own car. And instead of meeting the prince, officials said, he was manhandled by Saudi officials.

Lebanese officials described the long hours between the arrival and the resignation as a "black box." They said they were reluctant to press Mr. Hariri for details. When asked, one of them said, Mr. Hariri just looked down at the table and said it was worse than they knew.