October 21, 2018
Finally, Trump is backing away from this mess.
Get ‘er done.
President Trump strongly criticized Saudi Arabia’s explanation for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi late Saturday, saying that “obviously there’s been deception, and there’s been lies.”
At the same time, Trump defended the oil-rich monarchy as an “incredible ally” and kept open the possibility that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not order Saudi agents to kill Khashoggi.
“Nobody has told me he’s responsible. Nobody has told me he’s not responsible. We haven’t reached that point . . . I would love if he wasn’t responsible,” Trump said in a phone interview with The Washington Post.
The kingdom’s claim that Khashoggi was killed after a fistfight escalated inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul was met with a torrent of international skepticism Saturday over how a team of Saudi agents could fly to Istanbul to meet Khashoggi and eventually kill him without the knowledge or consent of the crown prince, the de facto leader.
Yeah, “fistfight gone wrong” is about as dumb as excuses go.
But it fits in with the stupidity of killing someone in your own embassy in the first place.
Israel assassinates people all the time in foreign countries, and they’ve shown that the best method is just to ride up on someone on the street on a motorcycle and shoot them with a handgun.
Bing bang boom.
Prince Salman – commonly known in the West as “MbS” – is very close with a lot of top Jews, and in fact is a puppet of the Jews. Why didn’t he call up one of them and be like “yo, gotta kill this guy in Turkey, how to do?”
Trump had told reporters Friday that the Saudi explanation was credible, but U.S. officials said he has privately grimaced that his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s close relationship with the crown prince has become a liability and left the White House with no good options.
Another Jew creating liabilities for Donald Trump.
Color me shocked.
In the interview, Trump defended Kushner as doing a “very good job” but acknowledged that he and the crown prince, both in their 30s, are relatively young for the amount of power they wield.
“They’re two young guys. Jared doesn’t know him well or anything. They are just two young people. They are the same age. They like each other, I believe,” Trump said.
The Trump administration made its relationship with Mohammed a linchpin of its Middle East policy, relying on him to help strike a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israelis and unite the Arab world against Iran. Now, the Saudi government’s handling of the killing of a Washington Post contributing columnist has tarnished Mohammed’s image as the Trump administration is questioning the value of its high-profile partnership with him.
Maybe the solution is to just not have a Middle East policy?
This isn’t like the North Korea situation, where you have a guy who could realistically fire a nuke at you or attack his friendly neighbor, a country that makes great TVs and has a bunch of hot sluts who make great music.
There is no threat from anyone in the Middle East, and there is no value there to protect.
Yes, the evangelicals insist on money to Israel – whatever then. Keep giving Israel money. Let them figure their own shit out.
Trump reiterated that the United States should not let the incident interrupt U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing a $110 billion arms sale with Riyadh he announced last year that analysts have said is inflated.
“It’s the largest order in history,” Trump said. “To give that up would hurt us far more than it hurts them. Then all they’ll do is go to Russia or go to China. All that’s doing is hurting us.”
“With that being said, something will take place,” Trump added.
U.S. officials must now account for the glaring inconsistencies between the accounts of Turkish investigators and that of the Saudi government released Saturday.
A key piece of evidence is the audio recording that led Turkish investigators to conclude days ago that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a Saudi team dispatched to Istanbul. Trump on Saturday denied that any U.S. officials have heard audio, seen video or read any transcripts from the Turks.
But CIA officials have listened to an audio recording that Turkish officials say proves the journalist was killed and dismembered by the Saudi team, according to people familiar with the matter. If verified, the recording would make it difficult for the United States to accept the Saudi version that Khashoggi’s death was effectively an accident. Officials agreed to speak for this article on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic.
Not ever going to take WaPo’s word for anything, but that rings true.
True enough that they could have just faked the sources and printed it, because it is obvious with or without a source.
The “fistfight gone wrong” story is retarded. And there is no reason for Turkey to lie about having tapes, because they know they’re eventually going to have to produce the tapes.
This tension has put a particularly bright spotlight on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whom Trump sent to Ankara and Riyadh this past week to manage the ballooning controversy. Pompeo and State Department officials have gone out of their way to deny that the top diplomat listened to audio provided by the Turks. “I’ve heard no tape, I’ve seen no transcript,” Pompeo told reporters late this past week.
“If Secretary Pompeo was offered to listen to the audio recording, he was smart to say no,” said Soner Cagaptay, a Turkey scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “You can’t unlisten to it, and once you listen to it, you can’t say certain things.”
Trump showed an interest in obtaining the recordings but said they have been out of reach so far. “I’ve heard all about the videos or the tapes. Nobody would get it faster than me. Nobody has been able to show it to me,” he said.
In its announcement Saturday, the Saudi government said it fired five top officials and arrested 18 other Saudis as a result of the initial investigation. The preliminary probe conducted by the prosecutor found that Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, was strangled after a fistfight with a group of Saudi “suspects.”
At least 12 members of the Saudi team are connected to Saudi security services, and several have links to Mohammed, according to a review of passport records, social media, local media reports and other material.
On Saturday, King Salman increased his support for the crown prince, putting him in charge of the official review of the Saudi intelligence apparatus.
One U.S. official expressed dismay that Kushner’s close relationship with the crown prince was not enough to provide guardrails against the killing and now leaves the administration vulnerable to criticism that the United States is beholden to the Saudis.
The official said Trump is annoyed by a sense that he was blindsided and by what he sees as Kushner’s misjudgment. Kushner has in recent days been sidelined from the Khashoggi case, which many in the administration see as beneficial.
In deciding how to deal with the Saudi matter, Trump has faced conflicting advice from his advisers. His hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, has emphasized his view that the U.S.-Saudi relationship is important to containing Iran, said advisers. Kushner has also stressed the importance of keeping a strong rapport with the Saudis.
Republican Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), however, has told Trump that if he doesn’t punish the Saudis, they won’t respect him.
Lindsey O. Kikeslammer, more like!
Did not know his middle initial was “O.” I actually like him even more now.
Anyway, yeah – bored.
Let’s just do the Toby Keith thing and kill everyone in the Middle East.