This Tuesday, President Trump stood in front of a gaggle of reporters and communicated to the world that for the right price, America will look the other way when it comes to the murder of a U.S. national.
Saudi Arabia has insisted that neither Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman or his father had anything to do with the targeted killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Trump wants to take their word for it despite the CIA’s conclusion with “high confidence” that MBS ordered the murder.
As The Washington Post reported last Friday, the Saudis have offered multiple, contradictory explanations for Khashoggi’s killing which took place at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The main theme the Saudi want to promote is that the killing was carried out by “rogue” operatives.
Since the killing came to light, Trump has been hesitant to hold the Saudis accountable. Some think the CIA’s assessment was leaked to the Post in anticipation of Trump officially absolving the Kingdom’s leadership of being involved. But Trump’s position hasn’t moved.
On Tuesday, Trump released a statement affirming his position that the U.S. would be standing by MBS, ironically saying that it was a matter of putting “America first.”
“It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump’s statement said, despite the CIA’s confidence.
“That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi,” it continued.
Trump repeated his contradictory logic to reporters on Tuesday.
“Why are you siding with Saudi Arabia over your own intelligence community?” a reporter asked.
“Because it’s America First,” Trump replied. “It’s all about American First. We’re not going to give up hundreds of billions of dollars in orders, and let Russia and China have them.”
“We are with Saudi Arabia, we’re staying with Saudi Arabia,” Trump added.
No wonder the Saudis thought they could get away with it.
Featured image via screen grab